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Mike Waters' blog: 27 August - move over

Date: 27 August 2015

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

It's more of a frustration than a serious crime, but on the UK's motorways it's not uncommon to come across drivers hogging the middle lane. 

That's why the Government introduced on the spot fines of £100. It's a deterrent to lazy drivers sitting contently in the middle when there is an opportunity to pull into the left hand carriageway.

Of course, just saying it's annoying and inconsiderate is playing this down a bit - it's also dangerous because other drivers have to manoeuvre around what essentially becomes a moving obstacle.

The police obviously agree that this is serious with the news that a motorist has been fined almost £1,000 and hit with five penalty points after becoming the first person in the country to be convicted in court of hogging the middle lane of a motorway.

The driver, who was behind the wheel of a Citroen Berlingo van, was stopped by police in West Yorkshire, after persistently refusing to move out of the central lane of the busy M62.

Traffic police said six drivers were forced to brake and swerve to overtake the vehicle, which was travelling along the eastbound carriageway near Huddersfield on August 25 last year.

The driver failed to turn up to court and was fined £500 in his absence and ordered to pay £400 in costs with a £40 victim surcharge.

It is thought to be the first time a motorist has been convicted in court of a lane hogging offence since the law was changed in 2013.

Will this now mean that people are less likely to stay in the middle lane when they clearly should be moving over? Only time will tell but it's an obvious message that drivers are being watched.