It is known to be one of the most frustrating things for motorists and a big cause of road rage.
That’s right, we’re talking about middle-lane hogging on the motorways.
Not only can it be frustrating, though, it is also illegal and and can be very dangerous.
You know the feeling. You’re travelling on a busy motorway and in front of you is someone who is holding up traffic in the middle lane, even if they aren’t overtaking someone in the slow lane.
Suddenly, there’s a backlog of traffic and everyone is looking to overtake in the fast lane, making it a very dangerous maneuver.
What is middle-lane hogging?
Simply put, middle-lane hogging is when a vehicle remains in the middle lane of a motorway for longer than necessary. Rule 264 of the Highway Code states: “You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slow-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.”
Is it illegal?
In short, yes, hogging the middle lane is illegal.
It comes in the ‘careless driving’ along with tailgating, running a red light and eating or drinking while driving. Laws introduced in 2013 give police officers the power to hand out on-the-spot fines of £100 and three penalty points, meaning failing to keep left on the motorway could hit you in the pocket.
Why is it bad?
It can cause congestion on the motorways as drivers in the outside lane and the middle lane all have to filter through in one lane to get around a lane hogger.
If that driver was in the inside lane then there would be two lanes available for the same amount of traffic to pass through, instead of just the one.
It is also seen as a selfish trait, as if someone is following the Highway Code and driving in the inside lane when they catch up with a middle-lane hogger, they then need to move across two lanes to overtake the lane hogger to avoid ‘undertaking’.