Fleet News

Almost a third admit to middle lane hogging

A year on from the first driver being prosecuted for middle-lane hogging, almost a third (32%) of motorists still admit to being a middle-lane hogger, according to new research from Confused.com.

New FOI police data requested by Confused.com reveals just 135 cases of middle-lane hogging have been recorded since spot fines were introduced by the government in 2013 to tackle “careless driving”.

A further look at the FOI data reveals the actual number of drivers caught middle-lane hogging could be much higher. “Careless driving” also includes the likes of tailgating, undertaking and driving too slowly - offences which are often a direct result of middle-lane hogging, even if they’re not recorded as such. In total, 1,158 drivers have fallen foul of “careless driving” spot fines.

However, of the 45 police constabularies that responded to the FOI request, only eightwere able to single out specific instances of middle-lane hogging among these other misdemeanours. This suggests a more consistent approach may be needed across forces nationally to help ensure that middle-lane hogging is being policed effectively.

Despite many drivers middle-lane hogging themselves, the practice is deemed ‘selfish’ by over half (51%) of other road users. An additional 48% believing lane hogging is a leading cause of increased traffic congestion. Meanwhile, over one in 10 drivers (11%) have experienced a vehicle collision or near miss on account of another road user hogging the middle lane. With this in mind, many drivers believe more needs to be done to make motorists aware of the rules of middle-lane hogging. For example, half (50%) believe motorway signs should be used to raise awareness of the dangers.

The research also shows that almost one in five (19%) drivers say they have never been taught about middle-lane hogging. This could help explain why half (50%) of motorists believe that some drivers aren’t even aware that they’re staying put in the middle lane in the first place. While, worryingly, almost two-fifths (37%) of UK drivers are unaware that middle-lane hogging is an offence punishable by at least three points on your licence and a £100 fine.

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  • Darren - 16/09/2016 10:36

    The same problem here as with mobile phone usage, there are no police on the roads policing this. This morning a saw a concrete lorry happily plodding down the middle lane of the A40 out of London while the left lane sat empty, and the right lane was bumper to bumper with people trying to get round. This happens every morning and I have yet to see a single police car.

  • Craig Thomson - 16/09/2016 11:03

    I find the problem of "lane hogging" very annoying indeed, being an avid user of the M62 both east and westbound to Liverpool and Hull, therefore I am accustom to witnessing lane hogging, amongst other issues. Collectively there are many motorway relate habits that unfortunately are an inherent problem on long journeys due to the "sub-conscious" state of mind many motorists are in, during certain parts of their journeys. I believe another, what I deem a dangerous problem, is the inner lane users who're parallel to a middle lane hogger, who are travelling much below the national speed limit. Therefore the calculus performed by the human brain when accelerating rightly so on a slip road, is then faced with a problem of having to suddenly brake because the inner lane user is travelling much to slow and the middle lane is being hogged, being unavailable as a scape goat. Therefore unless you're alert enough to pull a "Dubai Slide" (pulling across three lanes) then there is a risk of catastrophe. I therefore believe there is a conjoined problem with lane hogging, whereby many inner lane users are travelling much too slow. This could simply be addressed by the introduction of a minimum speed limit for cars and motorcycles using the inner lane. And motorists not feeling confident enough to abide, should be deemed an incompetent and unsafe driver. I was thrilled to hear the introduction of a law being passed, that could potentially stop middle lane hoggers, or at least those conscious enough to realise. However considering those figures, I believe the law isn’t been taken seriously enough, with 135 cases being reported over the past 12 month. This would mean approximately one conviction every three days across the UK.

  • Mike - 16/09/2016 11:35

    As a regular motorway user, this is my biggest pet hate in life. It is also an issue on urban dual carriageways where the majority of people will not use the inside lane. Without doubt middle lane hoggers are 100% the cause of undertaking - there are no other reasons to perform an illegal undertake and in my opinion it is the middle lane hogger (or outside lane hogger on a dual carriageway) that should be penalised in these cases. The lack of awareness on the matter is staggering, I will regularly flash at middle lane hoggers and indicate for them to move to the inside lane, then when I overtake I get a filthy look for making them abide to the highway code!!!! I firmly believe that a more thorough clamp down on this, along with increased education through motorway signage will result in a significant reduction in motorway congestion. The most surprising statistic here is that *only* 51% of people believe it is selfish to hog the middle lane - I would have expected this figure to be much higher. Education is key and bad habits on the motorway are doubtless the result of no mandatory motorway driver training, a compulsory 1 hour driving lesson on motorway driving at the end of a successful driving test to implement best practice would have a significant positive impact, although implementation in rural areas may prove difficult. Perhaps a system where all new drivers are legally obliged to display 'P' plates until such tuition has taken place? And 'P' plates are outlawed from motorways in same way as 'L' plates?

    • Craig - 16/09/2016 13:29

      My comments above Mike, however in regards to eduction, I think it's quite the contrary, whereby the newer the driver, the more educated. I passed my test in 2005 and after attending a Speed Awareness course this year, I realised that when some of the older generations were challenged with the most basic theory, I was astonished to how poor their knowledge was. So I agree with your theory on "educating drivers", however I do not believe it is the newer drivers suffering from the ignorance. I figure the 51% statistic is so low due to the question not being asked to those specifically effected, i.e M road users perhaps?

  • John D - 16/09/2016 11:38

    'Almost a third admit to being a lane hogger'...and far more have lost concentration and are not aware that they have been doing it!

  • Ste - 22/09/2016 11:05

    I think you should all calm down and get a life, by flashing people to move over and then speeding off ahead you burn fuel, pollute your kids air, spend your hard earned money and don't get anywhere any quicker, fools.

    • CB - 22/09/2016 11:59

      Hmm. So, if I am doing 70 and overtake somebody doing 60, and my turn off is 60 miles away, this will take me over 8 minutes less. I guess I am a fool and that 8 minutes doesn't exist. As for burning fuel and spending my hard earned money, I think that's my choice - if I am doing a 120 mile journey I would rather spend the extra pennies on fuel and save 16 minutes journey time over the middle lane hogger doing 60.

  • x - 22/09/2016 15:40

    Ste is a middle lane hogger!

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