A van driver has become the first motorist in Britain to be prosecuted under legislation brought in to combat motorway middle-lane hogging.

The driver was stopped by police on the M62 in west Yorkshire, after being observed refusing to move from the central lane.

The Telegraph reports that six drivers were forced to brake and then overtake the man, who was at the wheel of a Citroen Berlingo van, on August 25 last year.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that the driver had ample opportunity to join the left-hand lane, but instead caused inconvenience to other road users for several miles by driving in an “inconsiderate manner”.

The man failed to turn up to court but was fined £500 in his absence and ordered to pay £400 in costs and a £40 victim surcharge. His licence was also endorsed with five penalty points.

While a change in the law in 2013 made it easier for police to penalise middle-lane hoggers and other anti-social driving behaviour, with the introduction of £100 on-the-spot fines, this is the first time a driver has been prosecuted.

While some motorists argue that middle-lane hogging is harmless, experts agree that it causes congestion by greatly reducing motorway capacity, and can lead to dangerous instances of tailgating from motorists following behind.

PC Nigel Fawcett-Jones, of west Yorkshire roads police, told the Telegraph: “Drivers will be saying Hallelujah that finally someone has been prosecuted because lane hogging causes a huge amount of frustration. This also sends a message out to driver who think they can get away with it that the police are clamping down.”

Do you think the police are doing enough to combat anti-social driving such as middle-lane hogging and tailgating? Have your say in the comments section below.

Picture: Twitter/@MatthewAHorton

Daljinder Nagra


June 22, 2015