DRIVERS caught speeding during lockdown have been handed 108 points and fined just under £9,000.

A total of 18 drivers caught breaking the speed limit by more than 25 miles an hour appeared in court on Tuesday.

A further five had already appeared last week and received fines totalling more than £2,200 and were given a total 27 points.

During April in May it included one driver who was caught clocking 130mph on the A12.

Essex Police said excuses included a driver who said he was driving quickly as he hadn't been out for a while and one who was on his way to work as 'wasn't used to the car'.

One driver said he had been to the beach with some family and friends and he was tired and rushing to get home.

Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing, said: “During April and May our roads were less busy as people stayed at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

“However, sadly, some people saw that as an opportunity to break the law and travel at some really frightening speeds.

“Out of the drivers dealt with over the last week or so, four were caught doing at least 120mph on our A-roads and motorways.

“We are really lucky that no-one was involved in a collision because I have no doubt that, at that speed, someone would have died.

“To put people’s lives at risk at a time where most people were doing what they could to protect the NHS is unbelievably selfish.

“And when you consider some of the excuses given for these speeds, it’s truly shocking.

“My officers will continue to be out around the county to ensure you’re safe on our roads, tackling people speeding and drink or drug driving.”

In 2019, 17 people died and 241 others were seriously injured on Essex’s roads in collisions where an inappropriate speed was involved.

In total there were 684 collisions involving an inappropriate speed where someone was injured – that’s almost a quarter of all recorded collisions.

There are more hearings for drivers accused of breaking the limit by more than 25mph due to be held next month.