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Middle Lane Driving Laws

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AB Editor | 15:32 Thu 15th May 2014 | Motoring
70 Answers

This poll is closed.

  • No effect whatsoever. - 177 votes
  • 88%
  • Yes, a positive change, people are obeying the new law - 14 votes
  • 7%
  • Yes, a negative effect - if anything drivers have got worse! - 10 votes
  • 5%

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Driving in the left hand land is all fine and well on a quiet motorway.
You cannot pick and choose which bits of the highway code you wish to follow and which you wish to ignore.
well said um........but quiet motorways are a thing of the past.
Shoota.... What sort of gap should be between each lorry before you pull back in?
'Fraid you're not correct, Bright Spark.

If you are travelling in an "overtaking lane" (that is any lane other than lane one) and you could pull into a lane to your nearside but fail to do so then you may be accused of careless driving. There have been quite a number of cases where drivers have been prosecuted for this. Your speed is not relevant. Highway Code para 264 refers:

"You should always travel in the left hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower moving vehicles you should return to the left hand lane as sonn as you are safely past"

There was a cas a couple of years ago where a driver pleaded not guilty to careless driving for "hogging" the middle lane. His defence was that since he was travelling at the legal limit nobody should overtake him so there should be no problem. He was convicted by Magistrates and appealed. The Crown Court upheld his conviction and refused him leave to appeal further. A further appeal would only have been allowed in exceptional circumstance and there was no dispute about the facts and no matter of law to argue.
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Thanks for the clarification on the "law" element.
It's impossible to quantify Umm because each scenario will differ because of the relative speeds of the vehicles will differ.
E.g. You could justify staying out in lane 2 for a gap between two HGV's that were crawling up a hill which didn't affect your car's speed but which might justify popping back in if you were all on the flat and making good speed.
I think that this problem is why there is no actual offence - it would be impossible to Police.
The real problem lies with those so arrogant that they inhabit the second, third or even fourth lanes whether the inside lane is clear or not.
I was travelling back from Dover recently late at night when a BMW came up the onslip, accelerated hard to join in front of me, cut across the front of me into lane 3 and then slowed down to a modest cruising speed.......
What goes on in their minds?
But NJ, what gap?

I could overtake a lorry, pull back in, out again 20 seconds later....and so on. well aware of the rule..and abide with it..... but strongly disagree with it
I agree with that. Stay in the middle unless the inside is actually clear.

I've driven at night on empty motorways and some cars are in the middle lane. They are the nobs, not the people who just don't want to change lanes so often during rush hour.
Whatever the argument for and against middle lane hoggers, I have to say that the standard of driving in this country is appalling.

I spend quite a lot of time driving in France, their driving manners are exemplary compared to ours.
In the States they advise to keep right...however you can be passed on either side...with a net result of no frustration from either party.As said ...if you wish to overtake then you should be the sole risk taker not some innocent driver driving to the safe limits.
Where I drive out of the nearest big town to me is a three lane road, not motorway. The left hand lane has many exits and entrances on it, also two places where the left hand lane becomes a slip road onto a motorway and the middle and right hand lanes go over a flyover. Eventually the poad joins a roundabout where I go straighy on and on to a single lane road. I stay in the middle lane. I don't want to filter or turn left and it give people joining the road a greater space to do so. So is this legal?
We can indeed pick and choose which bits of the Highway Code we wish to follow and which we wish to ignore. Heck we can even pick and choose which bits of the law we wish to follow and which we wish to ignore. Criminal types do it all the time. We are not automatons but are supposed to have free will.
Well said og....unless the wife says otherwise :-)
Therein lies anarchy OG.
Never mind all this ..........who were the 5 voting for option B...and which motorways do they use?
I avoid motorways as much as possible, so haven't voted. Imo, tailgating is the most dangerous. Isn't there a 2 second rule, which helps you judge the gap? If the car in front does an unexpected emergency stop- you should be able to stop behind it- motorway or not.
Only a fool breaks the two second rule
And in the rain, say it again.

I hate being tailgated. When it happens I just slow down gently and keep slowing.
I agree, woofgang. If they want to end up in my boot, we'll do it at my speed :-\

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