Lane hogging and tailgating on-the-spot fines in force

 

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond says there will be "substantial savings in court courts"

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Careless drivers across Britain who hog lanes or tailgate can now be punished with on-the-spot police fines.

Under the new measures, officers can issue £100 fines and three points rather than taking drivers to court.

Ministers said it would make tackling problem motorists easier. The AA said a third of drivers risked facing a fine.

Fixed penalties for a number of offences, including using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt while driving, have also risen from £60 to £100.

More serious driving offences will still go through the courts and could result in much higher fines and penalties.

'Lives at risk'

But people caught carrying out offences subject to the new penalties, which were first announced in June, will be able to choose between an on-the-spot fine or the chance to go on a driving course.

The move, which does not apply in Northern Ireland, brings careless or inconsiderate driving offences into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties. Drivers can still appeal against any decision through the courts.

Among the offences police are expected to focus on are:

• 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, such as needlessly hogging the middle or outside lanes

• Inappropriate speed

• Wheel-spins, handbrake turns and other careless manoeuvres

Many such offences currently go unpunished because of the bureaucracy involved in taking a case to court.

Not only does a motorist have to be stopped by the police, but a summons has to be issued and evidence presented in court.

Road safety minister Stephen Hammond told BBC Breakfast that the fines had been increased to "reflect the severity and the seriousness of offences".

He added: "I think it's the right level to choose, and I'm convinced that it will be a deterrent for a number of people."

'Numbers game'

The AA said responsible drivers would welcome the changes but added that a survey of 20,000 motorists suggested one in three could be caught out hogging the middle lane.

Analysis

It's worth bearing in mind that this isn't a new offence, it is just another way of dealing with the current offence of "careless driving".

In the past, the police might have just given you a verbal warning - or in extreme cases taken you to court. Now they can do something in the middle. Give you a fine, and maybe points.

I am told that the police are expected to focus on situations involving slightly aggressive and inconsiderate driving.

We'll just have to wait and see how many fines get handed out and for exactly what kind of offence.

"We are pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers - tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle-lane hogs," said AA president Edmund King.

The vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Steve White, said the group was "broadly supportive" of the new fines.

He said: "In theory this is a positive initiative. In practice this will wholly rely on having an adequately resourced police service to enforce.

"Officer numbers are at an all-time low, the number of traffic officers alone has reduced from 7,000 to approximately 3,500."

Road safety charities welcomed the government's attempt to crack down on careless driving but expressed concerns about the way the fines would be implemented.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said a "robust monitoring system" was needed to enforce the changes, with more training on the new powers needed for police officers.

Brake said that while it backed the introduction of fixed penalties, the level of fines should be increased to between £500 and £1,000 so they were "high enough to deter all bad drivers".

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said driver retraining courses would be more effective at improving driving than just issuing thousands of fines.

Which existing fines are going up?

Offences include Was Now

Source: Department of Transport

Non-endorsable fixed penalty notice (where the driver does not receive points on their licence)

Failing to give way, obscuring registration number, stopping on the hard shoulder, misuse of headlights, sounding horn at night

£30

£50

Endorsable fixed penalty notice (points issued)

Using a mobile while driving, speeding, reversing on a motorway, not stopping at a red light

£60

£100

Non-endorsable fixed penalty notice

Failure to display tax disc, not wearing a seat belt when driving, driving without an MoT certificate

£60

£100

Endorsable fixed penalty notice offence

Failure to identify driver

£120

£200

Endorsable fixed penalty notice offence

Driving without third party insurance

£200

£300

 

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Comments

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1586.

    1542 Driver
    'How can we get into the correct lane at a roundabout in an unfamiliar town/city? The lead-in decisions have to be made before the arrows on the road can be seen,particularly in heavy traffic. And being in the wrong lane will now be an offence?'

    It is usually obvious - left lane to turn left/right lane to turn right. Make a mistake then go the way permitted and sort it out

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1585.

    Good idea!

    There's no hard shoulder in the middle lane. It is beyond me why people wouldn't pull back in after overtaking or letting people join.

    This has long been enforced in Germany and other countries- and it works.

    -

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1584.

    A major issue is Motorway Driving is not part of the Driving Test, there may be some cursory questions, speed limit etc, but no actual real examination of the laws.

    Worse still a driver who passed his test yesterday can get in his car and embark on a Motorway Journey at will, driving and maneuvering at speeds he has no concept of.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 1583.

    1563.nefer
    I feel there will be an increase in accidents because of these laws, because there are a lot of areas of uncertainty

    Rubbish. The law is clear. The highway code is clear. The problem is that too many drivers ignor them once they've passed their test.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1582.

    1561.Alanh02

    What are you babbling about? It is the lorry driver's fault for KNOWING that their vehicle is limited to 56mph, yet trying to overtake at that speed. Trucks are limited for a good reason.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1581.

    we need one for driving too close to bikes. most car drivers ok, but the odd one for no reason skims by instead of waiting a sec. Or sometimes for no reason! And I would like to see the odd few cyclists who run red lights heavily punished. they are giving us a bad name.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 1580.

    "Vboulderer
    Yes it is if you are sitting in the middle or outside lane when the others are clear."

    I said nothing about that scenario and you read into it something that was neither expressed nor intended. If the path is blocked but inside lanes are clear and the person won't move over, then undertake.

    Clue: perhaps you should read and then comprehend the posts from others on here.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 1579.

    We already have the safest roads on the planet and yet drivers are continually battered with speed cameras, traffic calming, speed humps, unreasonably low speed limits, bus lanes, road narrowing, closures and white lines, red and green splodges and obstructions.

    Why not just allow undertaking and let people drive in any lane? Can you seriously see rush hour traffic crawling along in one lane?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1578.

    I always though priority on the road was decided in alphabetical order.

    Audi, BMW and so on........

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1577.

    The police are there, but in unmarked cars, so this will be enforced.
    But basically it is good manners and consideration to others to use roads correctly. If you are not overtaking, pull back over to the left and let other traffic past.
    It is just lazy driving in a potentially lethal weapon. About time we took driving more seriously.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1576.

    People commenting that they stay in the middle lane as it is safer than changing lanes, how do you ever get on and off the motorway?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1575.

    1514. DeeplyConcerned

    Safe following distances:

    Light traffic, dry, good visibility, DAYLIGHT.......2 secs MINIMUM

    Anything other is ADVERSE CONDITIONS ...4 secs MINIMUM

    ICE/SNOW TIMES TEN........................20 secs MINIMUM.

    Yours .......an instructor (ex).

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1574.

    "johnboy99
    I don't drive in the way you describe..., sorry."

    So why do you defend those who do?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 1573.

    1540.Sally
    Flashing another road user without good reason and using them to demand they give way to you is not a good reason

    Yes it is if you are sitting in the middle or outside lane when the others are clear. If you followed the highway code in this scenario they would not need to flash as you wouldn't be in their way in the overtaking lane.

    Clue - maybe you could adhere to the law.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 1572.

    majroddf
    The law states you are allowed to exceed any posted speed limit by 10% for the purposes of overtaking.
    .......

    RUBBISH see https://www.gov.uk/speed-limits
    You must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1571.

    1545.
    Danny McKeown That is common sense, (to move over and allow traffic to come on to the motorway). It is lane hogging that is penalised.

  • rate this
    -28

    Comment number 1570.

    Yet another way for the government to make even more money from the average UK driver. I wish they would stop wasting police resources and time trying to enforce these silly policies and instead use those resources to prevent proper criminal activity.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1569.

    1545
    Moving out to let traffic on at a junction is classed as being considerate of other road users. You only do it if it is safe, you are anticipating (and have seen) slower traffic on the inside so you are actually overtaking at that point.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1568.

    There seems to be a group of drivers on here who believe it is acceptable to break the speed limits, tailgate, be discourteous to other drivers and do anything else they like doing but the full weight of the law should come down on any driver that impedes their ability to do that.

    Is that a fair summary?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1567.

    This is long overdue.

    Hopefully this will be the end of the Sunday Drivers as well!

    It had to be either this or completely automated driver-less cars.

    It will be good to see more fines for the inconsiderate riffraff.

    :)

 

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