A man has been fined after being caught driving from Nottingham to London during the coronavirus lockdown to “buy bread because it was £1 cheaper”.
Officers from Leicestershire road policing unit (LRPU) pulled the driver over on the M1 northbound after clocking it at 110mph.
The force said the driver had two young children in the car and had been reported to court.
In a tweet, LRPU said: “Just stopped a car doing 110mph on the M1 north.
Just stopped a car doing 110mph on the M1 north. The purpose of the journey from Nottingham? To buy bread in London because it was £1 cheaper. He also had his 2 young children in the car! Reported to court. #thatcouldcostsomedough #StayAtHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/LX4TmEM4i5— Leicestershire Roads Policing Unit (RPU) (@LeicsPoliceRPU) April 5, 2020
“The purpose of the journey from Nottingham? To buy bread in London because it was £1 cheaper.
“He also had his 2 young children in the car! Reported to court. #thatcouldcostsomedough #StayAtHomeSaveLives”.
Leicestershire Police said the man was handed two fixed penalty notices and reported to court who would decide the level of the fine.
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One notice was for speeding, and the second was under the Health Protection Regulations 2020, which comes with a £60 fine. It came into force last month to give police powers to punish anyone flouting lockdown restrictions.
The government guidance generally urges the public to avoid unnecessary trips out of doors where possible in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But there has been confusion over what can be enforced by police and what actually constitutes breaking the law.
The government has urged people to “stay local” when out exercising and only use open spaces near their homes where possible, keeping at least two metres apart from anyone they do not live with.
Some police forces said the public should not go out for a drive or use their car to travel to exercise.
But the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said there is nothing “definitive” in the legislation on this, although it urged the public to be “sensible”.
The legislation does not address the use of cars or vehicles at all and does not forbid members of the public from using their cars to “go for a drive” or travel to a location by car to exercise.
It states petrol stations, car repair and MOT services, taxi companies and car parks can all remain open, albeit with restrictions.
Officers can take action to enforce the requirements of the legislation if they “reasonably believe” someone is in contravention as long as the decision is “necessary and proportionate”.
They can order someone to go home, leave an area, have the power to disperse a group and remove someone using “reasonable force, if necessary”.
Police can arrest someone refusing to comply and issue £60 fines – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days. The fine doubles to £120 for a second offence and would continue to rise each time to a maximum of £960.
Those who do not pay could be taken to court.