RUSTY drivers emerging out of lockdown and key workers used to emptier roads are all being urged to 'slow down and save lives'.

North Yorkshire Police are keen to get that message out as the amount of traffic on the county’s roads has been increasing since the relaxation of lockdown travel and work restrictions.

And police have noticed that many motorists are “rusty” after not using their vehicles for weeks.

It has prompted North Yorkshire emergency services and local authorities to share a joint message to motorists as part of a national campaign.

The “slow down, save lives” campaign is run by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and has been deliberately timed to keep people safe as some travel restrictions ease.

Since lockdown measures began, North Yorkshire Police has recorded drivers at speeds of up to 132mph on the quieter roads.

Roads policing Inspector Dave Barf said: “In the last week the roads have begun to change – significantly more motorised traffic is out there returning to work.

"They’re sharing the roads with more vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians who are still ‘locked down’ and using the roads quite legitimately for their exercise.

“On top of this, many motorists have been making very limited journeys in the past few weeks, or none at all.

"Our traffic officers have noticed that driving skills in some cases appear to have become decidedly ‘rusty’.

“So, while speed is under the spotlight in this campaign, we’re also reminding motorists to take care – give yourself that little extra time at junctions, remind yourself to check your mirrors, concentrate on your position on the road and remember never to use your mobile phone while driving.

“There’s no doubt that speed kills – anyone who disagrees with that has no idea of the collisions we deal with. So next time you use the road, please remember to slow down and save lives.”.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue responded to four crashes during April, but have already attended 12 in May as the roads become busier again.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Jon Foster said: “We would ask people to take care if they’re heading out on the roads and for vehicle drivers to make sure they drive within speeds limits and are aware of other road users including motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists.”