National Rail has issued the following safety advice concerning speeding. 

Issued to: Network Rail line managers, safety professionals and accredited contractors

Ref: NRA20-07

Date of issue: 18/06/2020

Location: National


Since the Covid crisis started, hire vehicle usage across Network Rail is 168% higher than normal. Hired vehicles provide teams with extra capacity and space to travel Covid safely to sites whilst maintaining social distance. However, the first two periods of the Covid crisis have also seen notices of intended prosecutions (NiPs) issued for speeding in hire vehicles,with one example being 47mph over the speed limit.

This advice provides a brief overview of the current situation and provides recommendations together with discussion points.

According to RAC research ‘lockdown speeding’ has become an unwelcome by-product of the Government’s fight against Coronavirus with as many as 20 police forces seeing speeds in excess of 100mph while roads were less busy.


When driving you are in control of the vehicle and make the choices for your actions. It is worth remembering that as the roads are quieter, you will receive less feedback from other drivers, and you may feel less at risk with the relative lack of traffic.

The hire vehicle may be bigger or more powerful than any you are used to and this may change your perception of speed. In some cases, the warning offered by a vehicle speed warning system (VSWS) will not be present and you can become unconsciously complacent.

Focus on the task at hand (driving) and do not become distracted by COVID-19 concerns which could to affect your personal safety and that of others.

Think through possible consequences and remind yourself of all the above considerations before setting off.

Immediate action required

Questions to ask yourself

How might these points help you realise it has never been more important to drive safely? How could they inform valuable, consistent driving habits?

  • NHS capacity.
  • Vulnerable road users – increased number of cyclists/people out walking/exercising.
  • Road width reduced due to social distancing measures.
  • More parked vehicles than usual.
  • Policing.
  • Are you working/travelling at different times?
  • Have you lost your usual driving confidence/capability as a result of lockdown?

*The source of this information is the Safety Bulletins from National Rail and can be found here