Police warn road users of coronavirus car rules as motorists urged not to travel for walks
Coronavirus lockdown rules say you are allowed one form of exercise per day but this has caused some confusion among motorists. Some road users have flocked to popular beauty spots and national parks for their exercise but experts have warned this should be kept around the local area.
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Derbyshire Police claimed some visitors to the Peak District were travelling to the area from Sheffield raising concerns people were breaking the rules.
A statement posted on Twitter said: “Cars were parked in both the car park and on the hill up to it.
“A bags of stones that was at the entrance as a roadblock had been pulled to the side to allow cars to enter. (sic)
“Plenty of people were walking, many of which had parked up in cars before heading out for their walk.
Some number plates were coming back to keepers in Sheffield, so we know that people are travelling to visit these areas.
“Daily exercise should be taken locally to your home. Under government guidance all travel is limited to essential travel only.”
Derbyshire Police said visiting public parks would not be considered essential travel and warned officers would not be apologetic to use legal methods to keep people safe.
They warned visiting the areas could cost lives and that officers had already broken up large groups of people despite the government’s advice on social distancing.
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The force added: “We understand that people will have differing views about this post, however, we will not be apologetic for using any legal and appropriate methods to keep people safe.
“Whilst the government has advised to take one form of exercise a day, it is not appropriate to be getting in your car and travelling to take this exercise, particularly to a location, such as the Peak District that in normal times can become busy.”
However, motorists on social media appeared shocked by the announcement with many still seemingly confused by the new rules.
One social media user accused the police of inventing imaginary laws while another claimed walking their dogs was within the guidelines.
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Other social media users described the rules as petty while one questioned whether walking in the parks breached social distancing requirements.
Many urged for clarification to be given on what they could use their vehicles for or an update to government advice to include walking in public areas.
The government’s restriction means road users should only drive their vehicles if they are going to a shop, going to work or for medicinal reasons.
Essential travel does not include visits to camp sites, caravans or trips to any second homes.
North Yorkshire Police have introduced road checkpoints across the region to ensure all journeys are essential.
Avon and Somerset Police has issued a pamphlet to drivers explaining how the draconian measures will affect them.
The leaflet states: “You are entitled to exercise once daily. This should be by walking, running or cycling from your home address.
“You should not be driving to a location away from home to carry this out.”
New police powers mean officers can now issue fines of up to £60 for non-essential travel with fines doubled for repeat offenders.
Total charges will be halved to £30 if paid within 14 days although some motorists could be arrested for failing to comply.
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