Middle Lane Hogging
Published 1 December 2016
Most people who have spent time on the motorway will have come across drivers who like to hog the middle lane, and there is nothing that can be done to move them. They sit there, plodding along without a care in the world. This means frustration to drivers around them, causing other drivers to change their way of driving, by way of undertaking or tail gating.
To many, this may not seem like an issue but in reality, it is a very dangerous way of driving because it forces other drivers to take action in ways that they know are incorrect and could cause accidents.
The motorway consists of three lanes, the 1st lane, also known as the inside lane, the 2nd lane which is the middle lane and finally the 3rd lane known as the outside lane. Therefore, the 1st lane should be seen as the driving lane and this is where drivers should spend most of their time on the motorway. The other two lanes are there for overtaking and so, once the driver has overtaken another vehicle they should then move back to the 1st lane. If everyone followed these rules, then they would find that congestion would ease and there could also be less accidents and so everyone benefits from a safer driving environment.
Middle lane hogging and the law
However, middle lane hogging is now a big problem on motorways, and this was acknowledged around three years ago when laws were passed that gave the police the right to stop drivers who were committing the offence, and hit them with an on-the-spot fine of £100.
This should have been a deterrent that worked, and for many it may, but in the main it seems as though many drivers still believe that they have the right to sit in the middle lane for as long as they wish.
In the three years since the middle lane hogging law was introduced, approximately only 135 people have been convicted and that number certainly does not reflect the true problem.
The fact remains that funding has been cut and so there are less traffic police on the roads and this makes it even more difficult to enforce this law, meaning that more and more people are not only getting away with breaking the middle lane hogging law, but causing huge frustration to other drivers and causing accidents in their wake.
There is one underlying issue that needs to be dealt with and that is awareness. There are many people out there who have no idea how to use a motorway properly and they are the ones who hog the middle lane.
Do we need a motorway driving test?
The highway code makes it clear as to how the motorway should be used and it begs the question about what other driving laws are they unaware of? There is every possibility that they are breaking other laws and this puts other drivers at risk and so people need to be educated once again. This throws up the question of whether you should have to take a separate driving test specifically for driving on a motorway before being allowed to get behind the wheel on a motorway?
People may choose to hog the middle lane through ignorance, arrogance or a lack of understanding and so it is important that the issue is highlighted because it is still, very much an ongoing issue.
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