Is the traffic offence of middle lane hogging finally being taken seriously?
On the spot fines specifically for middle lane hogging were brought in by the government in August 2013 yet it was not until June of this year that a driver was prosecuted for hogging the middle lane. Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith reflects on this recent court case and the implications for this dangerous driving practice.
“Whilst the legislation to take action against middle lane hoggers has been in place for nearly two years now it’s only recently that someone was actually prosecuted for this offence when West Yorkshire police took a van driver to court. The van driver failed to attend the hearing and was fined £500 with £400 costs and a £40 victim surcharge plus five penalty points on his licence. The police maintained that the driver had blocked at least six other vehicles, causing them to slow down and then overtake whilst the lane to the left of the van driver was free for him to move into it.
“Middle lane hogging can be the cause of serious road traffic accidents – other drivers can ‘tailgate’ the middle lane hogger in an attempt to get them to move over into the left hand lane. Middle lane hoggers also cause the traffic flow to slow down whilst the drivers behind look for opportunities to overtake.
“The Highway Code rule 264 states that all drivers must keep to the left-hand lane when they are not overtaking and whilst it may seem pointless to change lanes for a short distance, moving over does allow other cars to pass without having to pull out into the right hand lane. Lane changing and slowing down and accelerating can all create the conditions for car accidents. The rules of the road are there for a reason and that is to promote safer driving and reduce the number of road accidents. Working for a firm of Personal Injury solicitors I have seen how dangerous driving can lead to someone being injured in a road accident. I believe that this prosecution sends a signal that middle lane hogging is, at last, being taken seriously as a traffic offence. I hope this prosecution causes all drivers to pay attention to their driving and keep to the left on motorways when safe and reasonable to do so!”
Content correct at time of publication