Judging by online comments, tweets and positive support, I can’t be the only one who feels that Kent Police deserve a hearty pat on the back for dealing (appropriately) with a menace of modern motorway driving; the middle-lane road hogger.
Of course it’s not really a modern phenomenon, lane discipline has always been a contentious issue, but it does seem that driving standards are getting worse. (Or maybe I’m just getting old?). Having said that, it has become such a widespread problem, that it even has its own acronym now: MLM (Middle-lane Moron).
Furthermore, this action from the Police is a positive boon to proving that actual, real, live Police officers shouldn’t just be replaced by the ‘yellow vultures’.
3 miles of MLM
Earlier this month, Kent Police followed a motorist on a stretch of the M20 motorway between London and Folkestone, who had caught their attention by hogging the middle-lane for over three miles before being stopped, despite the motorway being clear, and relatively empty.
When stopped, he was adamant that he’d done nothing wrong, claiming that the motorway was empty, in fact, according to the tweet released by Kent Police, the driver refused to accept that it was careless driving. They issued the driver with a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) and reported him for Careless Driving, which could see a £100 fine being issued, along with three penalty points.
Admittedly, the driver wasn’t causing a nuisance as such, so perhaps some may view the penalty as a little harsh, but the reality is that this is lazy, inattentive driving, and better driver education can only happen when instances of such, are spotted.
43% of drivers admit to being a lane-hogger
In a survey that was conducted last year, 43% of respondents admitted to hogging lane two, with most of the drivers claiming that it avoids having to move out of lane when confronted with slower vehicles further down the road. That’s not a great reason.
Slightly better reasoning is that it makes them feel safer – 22% used that to justify it, but worryingly, 11% stated that as they’re driving at the maximum permissible speed limit, no one should driving faster than them, therefore, there was no need for them to pull over. Or perhaps to put it another way – they’re lazy, incompetent and likely to cause an accident.
With ever dwindling numbers of Traffic Police, it can be tempting to admonish other drivers, to make your point that they shouldn’t be doing X, Y or Z by causing an obstruction to them, but this is similar to ‘brake testing’ another driver and will likely cause further issues, be they traffic related, or even putting yourself at personal risk.
I loathe the fact that I have to share the roads with poor drivers – the type that thinks nothing of steering with their knees while sipping their takeaway coffee and checking emails, or that can’t understand why road markings separate different lanes, or even, the drivers that cut across a junction into the oncoming lane to save themselves an extra 0.5 seconds of time when turning right.
Our road laws and regulations have been written to accommodate these drivers; swathes of ‘National Speed Limit’ roads have been reduced to 50, or even 40 mph, we now have traffic islands (roundabouts) that include traffic lights as a permanent fixture, and even ridiculous warning such as ‘Bend in Road’ purely so as these motorists don’t do any injury to themselves, or others.
There was a time that people took pride in their driving prowess; similar to flying an aeroplane, there would be a vast knowledge of rules and etiquette, mechanical inspections were carried out when the driver felt there was a need, they understood the ‘two second’ rule (and abides by it), changing weather conditions meant altering the driving style … today though, driving and owning a car has become so easy that any MLM can do it without a second thought, and that’s the problem.
We always say that we aren’t taught to drive, but to pass our test, and that should change. Better driver educations starts from day one, and learner drivers should be taught road manners, along with roadcraft, and then (and only then) should they be allowed to put in for their test.
This would reduce such instances of lane-hogging, perhaps even increase the flow of traffic, and make driving a better, more pleasurable experience again.
Should the motorist be prosecuted for careless driving? What should happen to drivers that believe they are the law? Should we teach road manners when learning to drive? Let us know in the comments.
I think that in this case no harm done as the road was empty. But even when there are signs on the overhead gantry most drivers will not use lane. One, I notice that coaches and HGV drivers are as bad turning 4 lane roads into one of two lanes when lane one is empty,what is the point of ‘Smart Motorways ‘if the lanes are not all used.
They are still breaking the law.
Indeed. But the law is wrong and should be changed.
The law is not wrong and if you choose to ignore it you are breaking the law and deserve the sanctions appropriate to the offence. The law is framed for the protection of everyone and can only function to protect us if there is a disincentive for arrogant egotists who think they are above the law.
The law IS wrong.
And campaigning to change it is a lawful democratic right.
The law iIS NOTWRONG However I agree anyone has a democratic right to campaign for change and, should they be successful, the new law should be obeyed. I believe that is called the rule of law and requires compliance from everyone to ensure that we are all safe on the road because we can anticipate the other drivers movements. This is not the case with the arrogant egotist who thinks he is above the law. In the case cited, the driver was obviously driving without due care and attention if he failed to notice a police car that had been following him for more than 3 miles
Careless driving is driving below the standard expected of a competent driver. It is not simply failing to drive exactly in accordance with guidelines set out in the Highway Code. Rule 264 Is only “the law” when referring to not driving on the hard shoulder.
I am not a MLM driver but I am not happy using the nearside lane on a so called Smart m/way as I & many others including the police, do not think they are safe.
Dear “Pensioner”, on a smart motorway, the former hard shoulder, when the signs on the overhead gantries tell you that it is open for traffic, IS the nearside lane. If you choose to drive alongside any unoccupied lane to your left, you ARE yet another MLM. Please re-learn the latest Highway Code.
In the UK, smart motorways are covered by 100% CCTV surveillance so that obstructions on any lane can be spotted and appropriate lane controls activated. The rules for the motorway operators REQUIRE that they DO NOT open hard shoulders to traffic if they find an obstruction. This is a much more rigorous system than, say, in Italy.
Stephen Please check your facts before making statements. 100% surveillance would be good but there are plenty of cases where a vehicle stopped in lane 1 has not been spotted by the so called 100% surveillance for nearly an hour which has in some cases led to serious accidents.
Lane controls are a joke since you get no lane closure for ages when a vehicle is stopped but frequently have very low speed limits on the indicators when there is no hold up on the motorway leading to the slowing down or stopping of traffic that these systems should be helping to avoid. Many surveys have shown that the pensioner is not alone in being wary about using the inside lane on (un)smart motorways since a large percentage of motorway drivers express the same sentiment
Driving in the hard shoulder does not pass my risk assessment so i tend to keep speed that means i dont need to use it – but you are welcome Stephen as you have 100% faith in others 100% immediate reactions and 100% coverage at 100% of all times. I think using hard shoulders is a horrendous cost cutting decision and there will be one day a massive incident due to this – let the blood be on others’ hands.
The quickest of Googles reveals “Eight-year-old Dev Naran was killed on the M6 last May when a lorry struck his grandfather’s Toyota while it was pulled up on the hard shoulder, which was in use.”
Still so keen?
That tragedy, like others, where stationary vehicle (broken down or at back of queue) is down to the lack of attention by the driver of the moving vehicle that hits the stationary one. Driver’s fault. Not the road’s fault.
There have been cases where a lorry has pulled out of the “smart” inside lane because of a broken down vehicle and the car following has smashed into the back or had to emergency brake as a consequence. Even if that doesn’t cause an accident, they can get stuck behind a broken down vehicle with no opportunity to get up to speed before they have to get out. They are not safe and accident statistics will show that after a few years and a number of unnecessary deaths.
Some of the above just doesn’t hold water apart from the ongoing discussions about the safety of ‘Smart Motorways’ which appears to indicate they are ‘unsafe’.
If people paid attention, got off their phones and tablets (I see this EVERY time I’m on the motorway on my m/bike), broken down vehicles can be seen well in advance and avoided.
I’m not condoning smart motorways, I do think it is a mistake not to have a hard shoulder for emergencies, but they are what they are and driving has to be spot on to cope with the additional possiblility of hazards.
But of course, we know that many drivers just don’t care about others and they will speed, weave, drive far too close, and yes even some motorcyclists are bad road users at times.
Any death is unnecessary. Smart motorways go a long way to traffic management avoiding compounded delays to slow downs leading to sudden braking and pile ups across all lanes. People seem to want to absolve themselves from responsibility and blame the infrastructure. If everyone drove properly and remained alert at all times, many accidents would be prevented. Accidents are caused by people.
That car is following too close. Something I see all too often on motorways.
I agree that one should always be able to stop in the space ahead that is clear, for example if the vehicle in front hits a pile-up and stops dead. But many people underestimate their stopping distance. Also another driver can move from another lane into one’s safety gap, instantly requiring the driver behind to slow down and create a bigger gap.
An emergency stop on a motorway invites being rammed by the driver behind. “Smart” motorways have led to deaths of innocent people. The fact that an errant driver is blameworthy for each of them does not make them safe.
Had the car been on a separate hard shoulder, there would have been no tragedy, and the view of what was the hard shoulder offered little advance warning apparently. So road’s fault exacerbated by driver slow reactions.
You may not be inept. You may not be inconsiderate. You vision may be good enough and perhaps your observation skills aren’t very poor either. Without wishing to be derogatory or pugnacious about your driving skills I wonder why you don’t feel safe.
Perhaps that is because professionals don’t think these roads are safe enough. Yet there are people who think you should disregard self-preservation and drive in conditions you think are unsafe.
There is a difference between a smart motorway and all lane running. Although the two can be used together.
the law is keep left except when overtaking simple to understand.
Last year the law was improved in that a fine and 3 points on the licence was introduced, same with using a mobile phone. However how many motorists know of these changes?
Introduce a questionnaire when licences are renewed, asking about the latest regulations, for trying to educate motorists with these has obviously failed.
Having spent time on a three lane road following a vehicle in the middle lane at well under the speed limit I feel education in the form of a fine is the way to go. In both instances that I can recall I was unable to move into lane 3 because the lane was too crowded, caused by motorists moving into lane 3 to overtake the slow driver in the middle lane. I did not pass the vehicle by using lane 1; not only because it’s illegal but because it’s extremely dangerous. The reduction of active police patrols has contributed to a ‘get away with it’ attitude among some motorists. In the last few years I’ve seen far mote dangerous actions by some motorists because the chances of being caught are considerably lower than it used to be. For example, excessive speeding, cutting in, running red lights. I could go on. While none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, most of us try to keep within the law. Education by fine (and/or a ban) seems to be the only thing that some people pay attention to but I doubt things will change until be get a lot more traffic officers.
I’m fairly certain the police won’t take action if you undertake in lane 1 unless you changed lanes to do so, if you are driving at a constant speed, if a middle lane hogger is not going to keep left. I would always be very careful when doing it though, and keep hand close to horn. I very much doubt the police would worry about you doing this, if it was clear you came upon a middle lane hogger and the safer course to make your natural progress was to keep going in lane 1.
They would probably even pull over the middle lane hogger before anyone else – if there were any police around.#
I’ve done it around police cars before and not had an issue.
Maybe something to look into further?
Tim (RoSPA Silver certified, for what it’s worth).
Just to add, I would always give a potential middle lane hogger about 30 seconds to move left, and give them space, before deciding whether to undertake in this way, to avoid aggressive undertaking, which is a no no.
Tim, ANY undertaking is illegal. The Highway Code advises drivers, who catch up a slower vehicle on their right, to reduce their speed to that vehicle’s and stay far enough behind it to create road space for it to move into. The rule applies to ALL roads, not just motorways. The ONLY exception is if that vehicle is diverging to the right and signalling accordingly.
You are incorrect. See my comment above. Undertaking is not illegal in congested conditions. The Highway Code states this quite clearly.
Undertaking is not illegal, weaving is.
Tim, I agree but I advise caution when doing that. A number of years ago I did largely exactly what you suggested. In my case, it was a dual carriageway (funny how many spell and treat it as a duel carriageway) and after flashing the headlamps, the Skoda driver still refused to move. 30 seconds later, I passed by using the left lane. Then a blue BMW had the same issue. It flashed its headlights. Skoda still stayed in right hand lane. 30 seconds later, I noticed a good distance back the BMW used hidden blue strobe lights. Funny how the Skoda then moved.
Long story short; I got pulled and charged with “dangerous driving” (which it never was) as my “offence was greater”.
Because the police decided to treat the symptoms rather than the condition/cause, I dug my heels in. I used common law principles to override the legal BS to ensure prosecution was impossible.
Had the police used good judgement to correct the source, police and court time would have not been wasted (I immediately told them I would only be under THE LAW and not statute). However, if everyone knew how to require The Law then there would likely be chaos.
In conclusion; well done Kent Police for placing such an ignorant DRIVER under STATUTE.
P.S. I derive pleasure in seeing the annoyance of ignorant people who don’t like the idea of using The Law to avoid a statutory conviction.
It is not illegal to undertake. The Highway Code says it is inadvisable but not punishable. It is permitted and encouraged to undertake when the lane/s to the right are stationery or slow moving. It is permitted because they want the traffic to keep moving. Indeed it is often much quicker to use the inside lane when traffic is congested because of people’s idiotic refusal to get out of the middle lane.
Rosamund is correct.
In pre Mandela South Africa the law on undertaking was identical to British law, but the courts ( which operated to MUCH higher standards than British courts) refused to enforce them on the grounds that they are vague and confusing.
That was an obvious indication to the legislature that it should tighten up the wording. But it did not do so.
It simply causes problems with traffic, having to move from lane 1 to lane 3 and back to lane 1 again. All because these people dont ‘think’ what problems and anger their lack of road skills and knowledge produce. I HATE their stupid arrogance. See its got me going just thinking about them!!
The standard of driving is appalling, no lane discipline even in the outside lane.
lane enforcement should be enforced on lanes
I agree all Drivers who hog the middle lane should be given a fine and points on there license.Also people who don’t indicate when turning or changing lanes.
Agree with Tom 100% , it’s just lazy selfish driving
I followed one car around 3 roundabouts and they didnt signal once… however he did signal left… as he entered the pub car park..
The lack of use of indicators today is an epidemic…..
Indicators are for life… not just for Christmas!!!!! Even if they do look pretty!
The first rule of the road is to drive on the left unless turning right or the road markings / traffic signs tell you to do otherwise.
Also these MLMs drive on sidelights when it’s raining, if you’re driving an HGV you can’t see them in your mirrors and they wonder why they get sideswiped.
The headlights on my old Insignia came on automatically when the wipers were on for more than 30 seconds, why can’t ALL car manufacturers do the same. It is a legal requirement to have your headlights on when it is raining/
Why do you need a computor to switch your lights on are you disabled.,too many drivers seem unable to decide when to use lights or wipers etc, as others have stated the standard of driving is very bad today,many should not be on the road.
The thread is about middle lane drivers, not switching lights on.
No it’s not, this law has been the same for years:
“You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves (see Rule 236). Law RVLR regs 25 & 27”
Note the bit about fog lights, another source of irritation these days.
You are right about “unless turning right” . But that begs the question: exactly how long before turning right?
M’learned friends could get rich debating that one!
Drives me mad, these middle lane hoggers. But what makes it worse, is as you pointed out, they have no idea what they should be doing. They think its finevto lane hog !.
More fines and driver education will stamp this out.
I get a parking ticket for overstaying a pay and display bay by 5 minutes in London.
Yet these people are causing serious problems and get away with it on a daily basis.
It is not just the Middle lane hoggers but now we have the 3rd lane morons on 4 lane motorways, they still think they are in the middle lane.
fine them. Put warning signs on overhead screens. Change the law so it is legal to undertake instead of moving from lane 1 to 3 to overtake moron
Why can’t the police use the motorway cameras to catch these morons. If they pass, say, 5 cameras with a clear lane to their left then they should get a brown envelope in the post with a letter of ‘intended prosecution’ in it.
MLM’s are the most annoying drivers on the motorways, I can’t recall the number of times I have had to cross from lane 1 to 3 just to get passed these oblivious morons.
I got it all wrong, I thought lane 1 is for cheap cars, 2 for dear cars and 3 for expensive fast cars, sorry.
Central reservation for 4 wheel drive?
I always say that Lane 2 / 3 hoggers must have a special certificate or something that I wasn’t told about. 🙂
If the motorway was empty I feel there’s no harm at all. Like the article says, some people feel safer in the middle lane so if it’s not affecting anyone else then let them go ahead and feel safer. But the fact that they were being followed maybe shows that it wasn’t empty?
But people who do stay in the middle lane and cause congestion, and inconvenience and safety issues for other drivers, should be penalised. Maybe MLM courses like speed awareness should be introduced.
You do not have a clue,the nearside lane is the driving lane unless you are overtaking another vehicle That is the rule of the road as told to me by one of our local traffic policemen on a driving course.
Why do you think it is ok to drive like a moron, in a lazy and careless fashion just because the motorway is ’empty’? Which it clearly wasn’t anyway.
No Jodie…. you have to have a hard and fast rule… if you start making exceptions then you open a massive can of worms… everyone caught would be claiming they were not affectign anyone else.
In the UK we drive on the left.. not in the middle or on the right, unless (ie on m’w or dual c’w) we are overtaking. As per bus lanes. When the bus lane is not operating, get into lane 1 (ie the lane that’s not currently a bus lane!).
I drive the M55 regularly and I am held up by middle lane blockers all the time. They have no consideration for other road users. I wish the police were more available to control this selfish attitude.
Ian Yates, you wanna have a pop up the m61, any day you like, any time. There is a line of total pratts driving in the middle lane, I keep thinking it must be magnetic because that many cars get stuck to it, you watch um come on at chorley an the magic road draws um straight into the middle lane!
43% of respondents admitted to hogging lane two – Yes, because lane one is full to bursting with lorries.
Ban the lorries, ban the coaches, ban the vans in fact ban ALL the commercial vehicles that enable us to buy things from shops. THEN there’ll be PLENTY of room for private cars, and motorists will be able to use whichever lane they prefer ! ! ! !
I think the downvoters are missing the sarcasm in your post.
sometimes if lane 1 is in poor repair because of the heavy vehicles that use it.
I would stay clear of it!
James that’s no excuse, you can’t just ignore the rules /guidance when they don’t suit you.
Alan, your logic is extremely faulty, if lane one is full of lorries how can you hog lane two as you would be overtaking all the time, which is permitted.
If a motorway is empty, ie nothing in sight going your way then OK use the middle lane, if you must, but when something appears behind then move to lane one. Trouble is so many don’t use their mirrors often enough so the driver is not aware of anything behind until it overtakes.
I used to travel with a driver who complained that they were often startled by vehicles passing them, I was never asked if I wanted a lift again after I pointed out that using your mirrors often avoided the chance of being started by overtakers. 🙂
Then you are breaking the law and behaving like a moron, creating anger and forcing people from lane 1 to lane 3 to overtake you.
MLMs are dangerous.
But also – what happened to INDICATING when pulling out or pulling in on motorways? As well as having to be aware of our own driving, we all have to second-guess what that motorist in front or behind is about to do.
MLMs compound the matter.
On my advanced driving course I was told there is one lane on a motorway , the nearside. The others are for overtaking ,
I agree. Same in the USA where it doesn’t matter which lane you’re in because anyone can go past in any lane they like.
That may be ok in the USA there you drive by their road rules but not in the UK as it is against the rules in the UK.
Howard millichap, if you wanna drive like a yank why not f#$k off over there an leave us a safe road. Why is it every time that we are talking about the UK does some idiots go on about America? I don’t give a toss, I live in England!
Shed and Pensioner. Are you saying that if a way of making roads safer becomes available, we should refuse to adopt it just because it was invented in America?
Around the 4 lane parts of the M25 the MLMs are hogging lane 3 for God’s sake! I’ve even unintentionally undertaken some idiot in lane 4 whilst I was in lane 1. I only noticed them as I was gong past.
IMO the standard driving test should be closer to the Advanced driver test.
Does that still count as undertaking if you are 3 lanes apart?
Not saying you are wrong, I am just genuinely curious as the “idiot” in lane 4 would need to cross 2 other lanes before causing a problem to lane 1.. I would have assumed overtaking and undertaking only apply to the lanes next to the one you are travelling in.
It is only overtaking on the left (or ‘undertaking’ as it is colloquially referred) if, once you have passed the vehicle on the left, you then change lanes. It is permissible to pass a vehicle on the left if you continue in that lane and do not move over. However, it is a grey area as the exception seems to be, from the example given, intended for traffic jams and it still presents some additional risk as many people do not check their near side mirror and blindspots before changing lanes. As per the article though, if people didn’t lane hog, there would be no issue.
You are right about “grey areas”.
And that is why, in jurisdictions where the judges actually know what they are doing, the courts refuse to enforce the undertaking laws.
Perhaps as in the eco worries case to stop vehicles idling whilst stationary in London , Create a web site type reporting data base so that you can upload offenders from car safety cameras or spy in the cab as once called.
I heard that someone created a face book page demonising the fools that park stupidly at schools.
This could work for “Centre Lane Owners Club” members or MLM as has been posted.
Upload and let the police ‘Police’ the footage and prosecute the offenders.
This problem could easily be rectified by removing the undertaking rule on motorways.
Having driven in Australia where this rule only applies if there is a road sign to specify, then I don’t think it is any more dangerous to pass a car on the left than it is on the right.
However, I can agree that it can be dangerous at the moment as the majority of drivers will not be expecting a car to pass on the left. But so long as everyone is checking their mirrors then I believe a change in the law would be beneficial to all road users.
You miss one very important point too many drivers don
t know how to use a mirror & i wounder if many even know they have one or what its for.
…. and when changing lanes on m’w or dual c’w, I wonder how many drivers consider the space between lanes – where bikers or emergency vehicles might be coming through…. From my experience most lane changes follow the move, signal, no mirrors routine. With signals optional.
Fines would help if there were road traffic “supervisors” to monitor this abhorrent, inconsiderate and careless condition. Drivers should be educated to understand that lanes 2, 3 and 4 (where present) are for overtaking ONLY! I would also include HGV drivers who take many miles in busy traffic conditions on 2 lane carriageways to overtake another who is doing 59mph when they are limited to and doing 60mph themselves!!
Prosecute the driver
My neighbour says he must not use the left lane as it’s for lorries only
Yes educate but my neighbour won’t have it that he is wrong
Prosecute and publish fines/points
Lane discipline and undertaking are more common now than ever. More traffic police and prosecutions will send the message out!
Lane changing is a hazardous manoeuvre, you are not looking ahead when checking your mirrors, so I let a large gap build before doing this. If you like driving in lane 1 you will have to slow below 70 for junction traffic and lorries or risk lane changes, why not set your cruise control to 70 in the middle lane. (use GPS speed to calibrate your speedo so don’t slow others down) If the motorway is busy you will be overtaking lane 1 anyway, maybe you have goto lane 3 or 4 to keep 70 but go back if quieter, especially after a major exit.
Please read some driving books. H Code is basic. Driving – The Essential Skills, also Roadcraft. All provide great advice and none agree with your middle lane perspective and odd comment about ‘you’re not looking ahead when checking your mirrors’ – that’s a brilliant observation, but without regular, effective mirrors checks how can you make any safe decisions about changing speed or direction / lane changes. If you took L test and stayed in lane 2, on cruise control, with no mirrors checks, then you’d fail miserably, on several counts. Free driving assessments are available from IAM RoadSmart and RoSPA and will help you understand why the rules are there and why it’s necessary and safe to adhere to them.
Lane changing is a hazardous manoeuvre, you are not looking ahead when checking your mirrors, so I let a large gap build before doing this. If you like driving in lane 1 you will have to slow below 70 for junction traffic and lorries or risk lane changes, why not set your cruise control to 70 in the middle lane. (use GPS speed to calibrate your speedo so don’t slow others down) If the motorway is busy you will be overtaking lane 1 anyway, maybe you have goto lane 3 or 4 to keep 70 but go back if quieter, especially after a major exit. It’s safer to stay in the outside lane if you can because you only have to look out for people changing lanes on your left as there is no one to your right. (2nd comment as could not edit or delete 1st one)
Middle lane hoggers – I just check the mirror for cops and slowly undertake whilst leaning on the horn. Most of the time, they don’t even look round as they have no clue as to what’s happening around them. Occasionally, they do look round bemused or wave their hands at me in the ‘what’s wrong with you’ sort of way. In truth, the people who hog lanes, or drive with rear fogs in the rain, or forget to switch their lights on, have no clue what’s going on when you alert them to their poor driving, so there’s hardly any point. What’s worse is the arrogant people who assert that if they are obeying the law, no-one else should be doing anything different to them. The Police should be targeting drivers like these, not those who are driving safely and reasonably above the speed limit. For me, riding the motorcycle helps me to escape the inconvenience of dealing with complete w*****s on the road.
Best just to adapt to the surroundings and drive properly. There is no need to ‘let other people know’ how you feel about their driving. At best, two people are now annoyed instead of one; at worst, there could be a road rage incident.
It’s permissible (and sensible) to use rear fog lights in heavy rain, especially when there’spoor visbility due to surface spray:
You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves (see Rule 236). Law RVLR regs 25 & 27
This is my bête noir and I repeatedly try to educate motorists or MLMs on motorways by moving from lane 3 to lane 1. sadly the majority continue in the middle lane even though there is no traffic in lane one.
Frankly it devalues the benefit of having a 3 or 4 lane carriageway and they simply slow down traffic flows and encourage undertaking.
the French fine MLMs and I thought we now have this ability but the police don’t bother as they do highways a favour by reducing speed! I take my hat off to the Kent police. thank goodness that someone recognises its all part of road safety.
Basically MLM drivers are lazy and they don’t move lanes because they don’t concentrate sufficiently by looking in mirrors and knowing who is around them. There also appears to be an ever increasing culture of not signalling when moving lane and they simply wander in front of me without notice.
I’m glad Kent police took this action. When taking the driving test, to achieve a basic standard, drivers are taught to keep left unless overtaking (unless a roundabout, turning etc. and they’re going in another direction).
The lazy ignorant dawdlers or those who seek to stop anyone else going a few mph over the limt need to be taught that lane discipline is important.
With congestion high, keeping left eases traffic flow significantly.
Once they start giving points to tailgaters I’ll be really happy.
While I try to be attentive and ensure I’m not lane hogging, sometimes I am accused of such by people who do not understand the concept of a safety gap. If I move out to overtake a slower moving vehicle and decide that the distance to the next vehicle in front of them is so close that I would only be back in the left lane very briefly before I had to move out again, I will remain in the lane. Also, I will remain in the lane until I have created a safe distance past the slower moving vehicle before moving back in. Many times when doing this, someone has angrily sped past me on the left tooting their horn. Granted, on occasion, I have misjudged the speed of the next vehicle on and spent a little too long in an overtaking lane but alas people don’t see all the other times I have done things correctly. While I too find the obvious lane hogger (when the left lane is clear for miles) annoying, I wonder if some people are a little faulty on their definition of a lane hogger. It certainly causes me some anxiety.
If you can be overtaken on the inside, unless its a mad driver, you shouldn’t be in the middle lane.
I was on the M62 in the early hours, there was no traffic in front of me or behind me whatsoever, then a numpty joined the motorway from Huddersfield in front of me, indicated & proceeded straight into the middle lane & continued there., overtaking nothing because there was nothing to overtake! I had to move over from lane 1 into lane 3 to overtake him/her then back again. this person desrved a fine & 3 points! Their only saving grace was that they indicated! It is even more frustrating when approaching a roundabout, look right & slow down & stop only for the approaching car from the right to turn left with no indication whatsoever! Inconsiderate plonkers!!!!
Middle lane hogging is a bye product of the national speed limit. If you are in the inside lane and approaching a vehicle you will need to pass and a vehicle is slowly overtaking you often you will have to brake because the manoeuvre is taking too long.. Drive in Germany and see the difference in lane discipline
Well, thats told us hasn’t it? We have heard now from the Guru so thats that. I dont think I’ve ever read anything quite so pompous on here.
Fairly obviously I dont fully agree. I dont recall seeing an empty motorway in a very long time, but I do agree that if there was one, or if traffic was very light, then the inside lane is the one to use.
On normally loaded motorways the most dangerous manoeuvre of all is changing lanes, so there is an argument for sticking to one lane, provided of course that you are not actually inconveniencing anyone else. Clearly the inside lane is not practicable because there is always slow traffic, and clearly the outside lane is not the one to stay in, thats for overtaking. This leaves one lane, usually the middle one which, if used with care, should present the least danger.
Do I need to go on?
we need a referendum on this or wait for self driving cars
David: You are one of the few people posting here with any common sense.
Everyone who is a qualified driver passed the driving test, which then includes the Highway Code. Lane 2 and 3 are Overtaking Lanes, unless otherwise designated! So to keep traffic moving move back to lane 1 after your overtake PLEASE
High way code takes into account the volume of traffic on our roads these days does it? some how I don’t think so, bit like your driving test, all about the perfect driver and passing a test, in reality who actually still drives like they did on their test?
If everyone did what you say there would be a lot of traffic in the first lane.
As for the Highway Code when my son took his test about 25 years ago a question in the written part of the test was If you run out of fuel what can would you use to get more fuel.Would it be a watering can, Coke can or a petrol can that just about sums up the high code
These days it would be a coke can, due to the price of fuel, that’s all most of us can afford now!
Hi. When I learned to drive 55 years ago I was taught to drive and got advice on how to pass the test which was a lot easier then than it is now and it only cost £1
I agree with you on most points of your letter especially the MLM joining the motorway and expecting every other driver to get out of his way regardless of the three lanes being full or not. I drive in the middle lane for that reason but if when a vehicle comes behind me I will pull over into the first lane.
I don’t think this driver should be prosecuted what harm was he doing if there was no other traffic about looks like the police wanted something to do on that occasion.
You say you loath the fact you have to use the roads with poor drivers the ones you mentioned aren’t poor drivers they are idiots who should not be on the road and as for the driving prowess like aeroplane pilots some of the drivers on the motorway think they have a pilots license but yes the MLM are a nuisance.
As for living in Kent why does everyone want everyone else prosecuted haven’t they ever made a mistake. It doesn’t matter where you are driving the lorry =coach = bus drivers think they own the road well some of them do.
Of course, the truth is that most MLMs do not read websites like this, so our diatribes preach to the converted.
! in 10 then do not know how to drive and should not be allowed on any road
Absolutely drivers should be prosecuted for hogging the middle lane. They drearily hog it for miles and miles and miles, often at 60 or 65 mph, forcing others into the outside lane in order to pass them. They are driving without paying proper attention to what they are doing. I have two other betes noirs – drivers who no longer bother to signal in a timely fashion, if at all (the majority), and drivers who don’t know how or don’t bother to drive round roundabouts correctly. Just recently I have been subjected to road rage abuse by drivers entering the roundabout in the left hand lane in order to turn right! Oh, and another one – people who don’t drive to the front of a queue before filtering in in a herringbone fashion. We should be campaigning for improvements to the driving test along the lines you suggest. And good road manners have to be part of that.
You forget to mention the idiots coming down slip roads who expect you to evaporate as they are entering the carriageway not a single look in that blind spot to see if anything is there just keep coming what ever is there will, well go somewhere!
My daughter just passed her test and tells me you are no longer instructed to look sideways into the spot when entering duel carriageways/motorways now as its dangerous you should be looking forward and not taking your eyes off the road ahead; explains a lot!
You always get the idiot who wont move over to let you on when the outside lane is clear and also had the bigger idiot who actually speeds up so not to let you on, what is that about? but some times especially when its busy there is no room on the outside so you have to filter, I was always taught by my instructor (tooo many years ago) if YOU can see the car on the motorway then filter in behind it as it possibly will not notice you:
NOT try and push it out of the way by carrying on entering carriageway,
NOT accelerate to beat it and then cut it up to get on,
NOT keep driving down onto the hard shoulder to get in front of the said car.
All of which has been done to me on a regular basis.
The other thing she said was about over taking,” if in doubt, DON’T” pity some driver don’t think that way either these days when they are head on with you and expect you levitate so they can pass under you.
I think its just people in general these days but also volume of traffic if you have a lot of slip roads close to each other many people not using the slip will move over to the middle lane so you don’t get involved with these kamikaze slip road users, also with larger volumes of traffic if you use the inside lane you can get caught in it behind trucks or slower drivers, nobody in the middle will drift into the out side to let you out as a lot of people feel uncomfortable in the outside lane. so I think what you see these days is all of the above coupled with bad driving techniques all mixed together.
None of us are perfect drivers, I am horrendous for not always indicating and driving a little quicker than I should, we are all guilty of something we do on a fairly regular basis as “driving” has very wide boundaries and is also highly dependant on that persons feeling on that day but having said that some drivers are just pure idiots with no excuse bar self importance and arrogance.
It seems to me totally unarguable that if you are driving at the speed limit then nobody (apart from an emergency vehicle using its blues and two’s) should be trying to overtake you.
Has there ever been a test case on this point?
….So you by this statement you obviously have a calibrated speedo?!? I am, on a weekly basis stuck behind drivers with a similar mentality during my 50 mile commute to work that make overtaking on the single carriageway road impossible; even purposely at roundabouts pulling into the second lane to purposely block off anyone overtaking them by going around the roundabout at the same speed as the truck on their left then staying in this lane until the road merges into one. All because THEY feel that they are going fast enough and no one should overtake them (doing 46 mph GPS in a average speed camera 60 zone!!) I for one am glad the police stopped this guy and hope police around central region start doing the same.
But it is not your prerogative to impose the law on other road users. That function is delegated to the police and private individuals usurping their power leads to chaos and an ungovernable situation commonly referred to as the law of the jungle
The most dangerous moments in motorway driving are when you are changing lanes. It follows that the way to reduce accidents is to reduce lane changing.
America s motorways are safer and more pleasant to drive on than ours because their law permits “undertaking” so this so-called lane hogging is not a problem.
We should charge our laws to the better system.
I think if you looked at the statistics of motorway fatalities in the United States you might wish to amend your argument about them being safer I do not believe that changing our laws is the answer. I would strongly suggest that changing drivers attitude is more effective since without that, drivers will continue to continue to inconvenience other drivers and put them at risk by pursuing their own selfish behaviour because they are convinced they are above the law if it causes them personal inconvenience
I watched a police X5 flash a rear sign at a car to ‘use the correct lane’ – this just after i had to cross 3 lanes to pass him and then 3 lanes to pull back in. He STILL didnt keep left. I gave the coppers a big thumbs up but wish they would have followed through. fully.
I’ve never heard of a ‘MLM’, doubt it will ever catch on. But I was told of an exclusive club for these hoggers 20 years or more ago…fully paid up members of CLOC (Centre Lane Owners Club).
Well done Kent Police 👍 need all the other county’s to step up now
The police are absolutely correct…the highway code states that you should drive in the nearside lane on a motorway whenever possible. Obviously the driver was not using his mirrors or else he would have seen the police car following him. Totally careless driving.
One night I came through the Irwell (Death) Valley on the M62..there was only one other vehicle on the road going down the hill.. and he was sat in the outside lane of 4… I undertook in Lane 1 and accelerated away as fast as possible….. Thats was one driver who should have been jailed for his pathetic driving….
Over 3 months into the football season and I still have more points then Bolton Wanderers FC!!!!!
I think that some motor ways should have section that has no road markings and see what will happen.
I used to get irritated over how the inside lane of the Newcastle Western Bypass is in effect permanently boycotted by MLM’s and all – until I realized that this presents an opportunity to get around the congestion that gridlocks the two “faster” lanes. It would be preferable of course if Northumbria Police patrols were to follow Kent’s example.
..and then there are those arrogant fools who drive in the outside lane at excessive speeds preventing the overtaking of MLMs.
We always say that we aren’t taught to drive, but to pass our test, and that should change……….. Please speak to some instructors, the vast majority of whom really do teach ‘safe driving for life’. That process does indeed involve a test so that is part of the equation but, whilst I’m horrified at the idea of learners being taught to simply pass a test (and yes, there will be some) I’m confident that most learners are being taught for safe driving. On the other hand, most instructors will have had pressure from pupils and their parents to pass the test asap and at cheapest cost. Any suggestion by instructor for post-test training on motorways, night driving, extended driving sessions etc generally is not listened to. Mums and dads generally seem to know better, yet when they’re helping their offspring practice, virtually none of them have an extra mirror (like every instructor, and a requirement on test) so they clearly see no need to check behind – either in their own driving, or whilst supervising the learner. How many parents bother to look at H Code or have their own driving assessed or do a mock theory test to check they’re up to date……..
Hi, the police are q right. I wish there were many more around to challenges the idiots who persist with middle lane driving. I constantly have issues on the M4. Cars and vans are at it. Sometimes small and medoum lorries as well. Do people think it in order to undertakes such people , as long as safe to do so?….. its bizarre that some drivers seem to even get angry when you overtake them on the outer lane and then get back to the inside lane. Some will ocssionally enter the inside lane when i chk in my rear view mirror but most just carry on as they were. Why ate people so stupid, lazy and selfish in these circumstances. I have numerous times come across a seemingly large jam of traffic in the mid and outer lanes only to find that a middle lane hogger was causing the issue…..
I thought it was ok to stay in the middle lane if you were a member of CLODs (Center Lane Owner Drivers) 🙂