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Mon, 10/01/2018 - 11:53 -- sdukbewiser

Middle lane hoggers face police crackdown

Mon, 01/10/2018
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Middle-lane hoggers face police crackdown

Thames Valley police are to take a tougher attitude towards motorists who continuously drive in the middle lanes of motorways.

The RAC reports:

Drivers who hog the middle lane have been made the subject of a police crackdown in the south of England.

Officers from Thames Valley Police recently pulled over five offenders in just one night in an attempt to stamp out the irritating, but often overlooked, road rule contravention.

Offenders were then publicly shamed on Twitter, including one motorist who remained in the middle lane for over seven miles, between Junction 4 (Heathrow) and Junction 6 (Slough Central/Windsor).

Another careless driver stayed in the middle lane between Junction 5 (Slough) and Junction 4, forcing others to use the outside lane to overtake.

When it comes to lane hogging, the Highway Code states: “You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.

“If you are overtaking a number of slow-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.”

Changing lanes is sometimes seen as one of the more dangerous motorway manoeuvres, spurring some motorists to stay in the middle lane to avoid having to ‘weave’ between other vehicles.

But the frustrating habit makes overtaking harder, as it funnels drivers into the outside lane, leading to congestion.

Middle-lane hogging is classified as a ‘careless driving’ offence, along with tailgating and being distracted by eating and drinking behind the wheel.

New laws were introduced back in 2013 which gave police officers the power to hand out three penalty points and £100 on-the-spot fines to offenders.

The five drivers were stopped by Thames Valley Police between Sunday night (September 16) and the early hours of Monday morning (September 17) on the M4.

Hogging the middle lane in itself is a form of careless driving and is likely to cause congestion on some of the UK’s busiest motorways. However, pulling over every motorist who does hog this lane seems a monumental challenge for an already stretched police force.

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