The act has been a punishable offence in the UK since 2013
Hogging the middle lane whilst driving on the motorway has been a punishable offence since 2013 throughout the UK. The act is now classed as a ‘careless driving’ offence and if caught, the police can issue ‘hoggers’ with an on the spot fine of £100.
However, according to a new survey, nearly one third (32%) of motorists acknowledge that they still sit in the middle lane, rather than moving over to the left lane when it’s clear to do so.
The new law was first introduced three years ago but even after all this time, people are still not aware that ‘lane hogging’ is now a classed as an offence. Confused.com found that 37% of British drivers had no idea that if caught, they could be handed a £100 fine.
Since the introduction, only 135 tickets have been handed out to motorists caught hogging the middle lane, information the insurance comparison website gathered from forty-five police forces across the country.
The insurers did find that other offences, recorded as ‘careless driving’, could be linked directly to middle-lane hogging, such as driving too slowly, undertaking and tailgating. However, in the past three years, only eight penalties have been handed out specifically to drivers hogging the middle lane, compared to 1,158 fines issued for ‘careless driving’ offences.
As a result, more consistency across all UK forces is needed to ensure that middle-lane hogging is policed more efficiently.
Of the 2,000 UK motorists polled by confused.com, nearly one third admitted to hogging the middle lane, which equates to 12.2 million, out of the 38 million drivers with a full UK driving licence, confessing to not moving over even when the way is clear – quite an alarming statistic!
What’s even more alarming however, is that just over half (51%) admitted that middle-lane hogging was a very ‘selfish’ act and 48% said they believed it played a huge part in traffic congestion problems.
Of those people surveyed, around one in five said they hadn’t been taught the right and wrong way of driving on the motorway, so didn’t fully understand the dangers that come with hogging the middle lane.
Middle-lane hoggers are a danger not only to themselves but to other motorway users, with one in ten saying they had been involved in a near miss, or been spectator to a road collision because of drivers ‘hogging’ the middle lane.
When asked what should be done to eliminate middle-lane hoggers from our motorways, half thought that motorway signs would be a good idea to help raise awareness of the perils of sitting in the middle lane.
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