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Van driver fined for hogging motorway middle lane

Road network

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.”

 



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Comments

  • Paul Tuszynski - 22/06/2015 09:30

    The fine was introduced in 2013. Its now 2015 and this is the first person to be fined. Not really a game changer is it?

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  • mike gillson - 22/06/2015 09:36

    Hallelujah ! At last someone actually convicted of a traffic law that everyone (including up to now, the Police) seems to ignore.

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  • L Strang - 22/06/2015 11:33

    Until road traffic police numbers are increased, laws such as lane hogging and mobile phone use by drivers will continue to go largely unprosecuted, and bacause of that they will continue to be largley ignored by motorists.

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  • Tim - 22/06/2015 11:55

    These middel lane hoggers are probably unaware that there are several classes of vehicle that are not allowed in the third lane, vehicles with trailers and certain types of lorries for example. For these to get past they can sit in lane one, and on a downhill stretch set their cruise control and hope that the middle lane hogger slows down on level ground or uphill, whether this method is a defence in court i don't want to speculate.

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  • Ralph Collins - 22/06/2015 12:12

    Does anyone else encounter the drivers who sit in the outside lane of a two lane carriageway, travelling slowly, because they intend to turn right some distance ahead? Sometimes they position themselves in this lane several miles ahead of the intended manoeuvre causing chaos as they effectively reduce a fast moving 70mph carriageway to a 40-50mph crawl?

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  • Darren Dickinson - 22/06/2015 12:42

    This is good news, but how long is too long? Is there specific regulations for when you should re-join the first lane? What about lorries that over take each other, and take 5 miles to pass because they are only going 1 mph faster?

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  • Iain Marsh - 22/06/2015 12:53

    First court case, rather than on-the-spot fine. But what's the £40 "victim surcharge" all about? Are the six drivers that had to brake and swerve going to get £6.66 each or is it just a 10% levy on court costs that will be trousered by HMCS?

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  • Robberg - 22/06/2015 13:22

    Ralph Collins - you must live near me!

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  • Colin Pattison - 22/06/2015 13:54

    I'm pretty sure this law was introduced to get the popular press headlines and hope that nobody noticed that at the same time, they doubled the basic speeding fine to £60.

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  • Mark Austin - 22/06/2015 14:13

    When are they going to introduce a law that is purely for Range Rover drivers, always in the outside lane, always speeding and always tail gaiting :-)

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  • Antony - 22/06/2015 17:22

    More sense to introduce a law restricting lorries and vans from using two outside lanes in new four lane sections of motorways as well as restricting lorries and vans from using outside lanes in contra flow lanes

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  • Antony - 22/06/2015 17:27

    More sense to introduce a law restricting lorries and vans from using two outside lanes in new four lane sections of motorways as well as restricting lorries and vans from using outside lanes in contra flow lanes

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  • Ken Hay, Upminster, Gt London - 22/06/2015 19:04

    Its good to see West Yorkshire Police leading the way in dealing with the CLODS (Centre Lane Owner Drivers Society). Perhaps the other Forces will get the message.

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  • Peter Aylett - 22/06/2015 19:05

    The Middle Lane Owners' Club needs to be outlawed and closed down for good !

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  • Bob Chandler - 25/06/2015 11:30

    Centre lane hogging also causes other drivers to break the law by undertaking rather than crossing all three lanes to overtake legally

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