You could be hit with a £100 fine & three penalty points for dangerous or careless driving
Police officers in the UK can now issue a fine to drivers on the motorway who think it’s okay to sit in the middle lane, yet it still happens all the time and is one of the biggest gripes amongst road users after tailgating.
The Highway Code states that motorists are breaking the law by hogging the middle lane and that you should always drive in the left-hand lane on the motorway when the road ahead is clear.
A driver should only move across into the middle and right-hand lane to overtake other vehicles and should pull back across once they’ve safely passed and the road ahead is clear.
On occasion, police officers from different regions release video updates showing drivers they’ve caught middle-lane hogging to warn motorists and make offenders aware of what they’ve done wrong.
One such clip was recently released by officers from Thames Valley Police, which showed a driver using the middle lane on Christmas Day even though the road ahead was fairly clear of traffic.
A warning followed the clip on how middle-lane hogging was dangerous, as well as being annoying for other road users. The driver was issued with a ticket for careless driving.
If you’re caught hogging the middle lane, you will probably be issued with a £100 fine and three penalty points on your driving licence and if the case ends up in court, the punishment could rise to £5,000 and nine penalty points.
Some motoring experts, including the RAC, claim that driving in the middle lane of the motorway can create congestion as overtaking vehicles are having to move in and out of lanes to get past.
According to past surveys, many motorists sit in the middle lane because they’re lazy – travelling in the middle lane means you don’t have to keep changing lanes.
Furthermore, some drivers said they feel safer when driving in the middle lane, whilst some said they liked the visibility it offered.
Research carried out by the AA found that half of road users in the UK think lane-hogging and undertaking offences are worsening.
“Middle lane hogs are always in the top three pet hates of drivers, so it doesn’t help harmony on the roads if drivers perceive the problem is getting worse,” said Edmund King, director of the AA, also adding: “At best, middle lane hogs and under-takers are annoying, but the reality is these habits are dangerous. Blocking lanes often leads to other drivers tailgating which itself leads to collisions.”
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