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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 13:59 
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 21:15
Posts: 702
Location: Belfast
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Motorist becomes first person to be convicted of 'hogging' the middle lane after getting fined £1,000 for driving at 60mph when inside lane was free

Police said six cars had to brake and swerve to avoid the van on the M62
Driver didn't show up to court and received five points on his licence
Leeds Magistrate Court told he had many chances to move into left lane
Published: 12:09, 21 June 2015 | Updated: 13:33, 21 June 2015

An van driver is believed to have become the first ever to be convicted in court of 'hogging' the middle lane of a motorway.

The stubborn motorist at the wheel of a Citroen Berlingo van was driving at 60mph and refused to move out of the central lane of the M62 near Huddersfield.

Magistrates ordered him to pay a £940 fine and put five penalty points on his driving licence after the incident on August 25 last year, in what is to believed to be the first court conviction for the offence since the government made it illegal in 2013.


The police were given more powers to issue on-the-spot fines for careless drivers in 2013, covering misdemeanours such as hogging the middle lane, tailgating and failing to give way at a junction.

Ministers said at the time such offences were going unpunished because of the bureaucracy involved in taking them to court.

Those spotted breaking the law risked a £100 fine and three points on their licence.

Under the old system, motorists would have to be stopped by the police, then a summons has to be issued and evidence presented in court - costing the taxpayer a 'susbstantial' amount.

But more serious offences can still be taken to court by the police.
Police said six drivers had to brake and swerve to overtake the Berlingo, as it travelled on the eastbound carriage of the motorway near Junction 23.

Leeds Magistrates Court heard the driver - who did not turn up for the hearing - had numerous opportunities to move back into the left-hand lane but failed to do so, choosing instead to drive in 'an inconsiderate manner'.

He and ordered to pay a £500 fine, £400 in costs and a £40 victim surcharge in his absence, as well as docked five points on his licence.

PC Nigel Fawcett-Jones from the Road Policing Unit said dangerous 'lane hogging' caused congestion and inconvenience to other road users.

'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', he added.

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.'

New figures in March showed the police handed out 10,000 on-the-spot fines on one year, following a change in the law that allow them to give £100 tickets to inconsiderate or careless drivers.

The crackdown on anti-social driving has seen those caught tailgating, middle lane hogging and undertaking all handed the fines and given three penalty points on their licence.

The police figures also reveal a tractor driver in Norfolk was fined after failing to pull in to let the queue of motorists behind him get past.

STUPD QUESTION - Can we look forward to a crackdown on anti social cycling?

Anyone who tells you that nothing is impossible has never bathed in a saucer of water.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 15:21 

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 18:54
Posts: 4036
Location: Cumbria
About time too! Well what do you know?! There ARE crimes other than speeding after all!

However, I think the penalty was a bit harsh. I guess there might have been other circumstances not reported in the article.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 18:14 

Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 19:11
Posts: 172
Location: Southampton
I can't see, unless there is something missing from the report, why "drivers had to swerve to miss the van"? This would imply that the drivers behind were not concentrating. Not that I am defending the driver staying in the outside lane, but the police report did seem a bit over dramatised.

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