A van driver has been fined almost £1,000 and hit with five penalty points after becoming the first person in the country to be convicted of hogging the middle lane of a motorway.
The driver was stopped by police in West Yorkshire after refusing to move out of the middle lane of the M62.
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.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that the driver had driven in an “inconsiderate manner” for several miles, causing inconvenience to other road users.
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. He was also given five penalty points on his licence.
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.
The Government introduced on the spot fines of £100 in an effort to deter drivers from sitting in the middle lane when there was an opportunity to pull into the left hand carriageway.
Researchers claim the problem results in a third of motorway capacity being wasted, causing congestion and traffic delays.
PC Nigel Fawcett-Jones from the Road Policing Unit of West Yorkshire police said lane hogging was dangerous and caused congestion and inconvenience to other road users.
He said: “It reduces the capacity of roads and motorways, and can lead to dangerous situations where other drivers 'tailgate' the vehicle in front to try and get the lane hogger to move over.
“Members of the public regularly tell the Road Policing Unit that lane hogging and tailgating are real problems on our roads and this conviction shows that the police and the courts understand the public's concerns and take this offence seriously.”