Inconsiderate drivers to face increased fines
Drivers who needlessly hog the middle lane on motorways face fines of £100 as well as three penalty points under new government measures designed to crack down on careless motoring.
Fines for a number of other offences on the road – including using a handheld mobile phone while driving, or jumping traffic lights – are also expected to be increased from £60 to £100.
Traffic police will decide when motorists are considered to have been hogging the middle lane and issue on-the-spot fines to offenders.
Unveiling the plans to Parliament, transport minister Stephen Hammond described careless drivers as "a menace" whose negligence puts innocent people's lives at risk.
"That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court," he added.
The Department of Transport has not yet released official guidance on which types of driving will attract fines, but police are expected to focus on situations involving slightly aggressive and inconsiderate driving, such as:
- Driving too close to the vehicle in front
- Failing to give way at a junction (not requiring evasive action by another driver)
- Overtaking and pushing into a queue of traffic
- Being in the wrong lane and pushing into a queue on a roundabout
- Lane discipline, eg needlessly hogging the middle or outside lanes
- Inappropriate speed
- Wheel-spins, handbrake turns and other careless manoeuvres
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