ALMOST 70,000 drivers across the region were caught speeding despite the UK being advised to "Stay Home" for the majority of the year.

A Freedom of Information request submitted to police forces in the region revealed the shocking figures as data showed one driver hit near double the 70mph speed limit. 

The figures, which were obtained by, is the equivalent to almost 191 being caught every single day, with at least £7m in speeding fines handed out.

According to the data, police forces recorded motorists hitting speeds of up to 133mph in the region last year - this offence was recorded by Northumbria Police on the A69.

It suggested that drivers were taking advantage of empty roads during the nation-wide lockdown.

Northumbria Police was in fact revealed to have the highest number of speeding offences in the twelve month period, with the force recording more than 53,000 drivers breaking the speed limit.

The number of drivers caught breaking the speed limit in the North-East last year accounted for 3 per cent of the total UK speeding offences last year.

In total, a whopping 2.2m drivers were caught driving above the speed limit, hitting speeds of up to 163mph in some regions.

While this is a 10 per cent drop compared to 2019, it’s still considerably high considering that the UK spent much of the past 12 months being advised to stay home or stay local.

Unsurprisingly, offences dropped in April following the announcement of a UK-wide lockdown, although 84,452 motorists were still caught travelling above the speed limit during this time.

However, this almost doubled to 165,609 in May when restrictions started to ease - offences continued to increase over the summer, peaking at 225,297 in July.

If a driver is caught speeding, they’ll be on the receiving end of a minimum £100 fine.

This means that UK drivers collectively paid out £200m in fines last year, but in some cases, drivers could expect to be paying a significant amount more.

A change in the law in 2017 means that drivers caught speeding could have to pay up to 175 per cent of their weekly salary in fines, depending on the extent of the offence.

According to research from, there are many ways speeding has affected offenders.

More than two in five (42 per cent) drivers have been caught speeding at one point, and of these, one in seven (15 per cent) claim their life was affected as a result, including losing their job.

A third (31 per cent) also claimed their car insurance has increased since being caught.

While quieter roads might seem like an opportunity to ramp up the speed to some, it’s clear the consequences far outweigh the benefit of getting home that little bit quicker.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at, said: “It’s worrying to think that many people took advantage of quieter roads during lockdown to ramp up the speed. Speed limits are in place for a reason – to keep road users and pedestrians safe.

“If you’re caught speeding, you could be paying out up to 175 per cent of your weekly income – this could be up to £1,000 for some drivers, or £2,500 on a motorway.

"But it is confusing to work out the penalty with the rules changing depending on the severity of the offence. Stick to the limit and avoid a hefty fine.”