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Middle Lane Driving Laws

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AB Editor | 14:32 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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like a lot of other initiatives on UK roads - like no overtaking by HGVs on certain sections of 2-lane roads (notably the A14 and M42), and vehicles towing trailers not to use lane 3 on 3 lane motorways, the middle lane thing is not enforced, and everyone knows it. so all 3 (and other besides) are widely and routinely ignored.
I didn't know they'd even come into force, I remember talk of it.
errrm....what middle lane and tailgating laws????
tailgating's dangerous but I can't really see middle-lane hogging as a problem. Everyone knows the inside lane is for HGVs and the elderly, or both at once, and the outside lane is for German cars doing 90.
//tailgating's dangerous but I can't really see middle-lane hogging as a problem. Everyone knows the inside lane is for HGVs and the elderly, or both at once, and the outside lane is for German cars doing 90. //

the middle lane hogger doing 63mph forces the van doing 75mph into lane 3, into the path of the 90mph german car, with predictable results. you don't consider high speed collisions to be a problem?
middle lane hoggers are almost invariably doing 70; it's where people go to observe the speed limit. Vans and German cars both exceeding the limits are welcome to wipe each other out.
ok JNO we know where you stand on this. you must be a middle lane hogger, since by your own argument you clearly can't admit to breaking the law.
well, I don't actually stand in the middle lane, for various reasons.
It should be emphasised that there are no new laws associated with this initiative. There are no specific laws preventing tailgating or middle lane hogging. All that has happened is that the police have been given powers to issue fixed penalties for less serious offences of careless driving (under which these two practices fall). Previously they would have ignored such offences as the bother of taking drivers to court was too much for them to endure. I don't believe drivers have paid any heed to this new initiative and, as has been said, they still have to be apprehended.
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no real effect because they are entirely subjective. Tailgating was already covered by existing laws and middle lane driving is not the sin it's painted. Lane changing is statistically the cause of most motorway accidents. Not even sure how they define the new law anyway, it's all too woolly, it cannot be written down so they'll struggle to get any sort of consistent interpretation, QED unenforceable. Has anyone been prosecuted?
As I said, 3Ts, this initiative does NOT involve any new laws. All it has done is to provide the police with a simpler way of dealing with the existing careless driving law. This is similar to the fixed penalty measures which were intoduced for speeding in (I think) the late 1980s. Prior to that all speeding offences had to be dealt with in the Magistrates' Court.

Careless driving, by its nature, is subjective. All the law (Road Traffic Act 1988, s3) says is this:

"A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver."

And that's all, nothing more specific. It is up to the police (initially) to decide whether, in their opinion, the driver's standard has fallen below the required level and then the court (if necessary) to hear evidence and reach a verdict. What this new initiative has done is to allow the police to offer, and the driver to accept, a fixed penalty for careless driving and in particular for the examples under discussion here. In more serious cases of careless driving they would still issue court proceedings.

Many drivers have been prosecuted (through the courts) for careless driving involving tailgating and incorrect lane discipline.
The laws have not changed.

On the spot fines instead of summons' were introduced at the end of last year.
If I'm travelling at the maximum speed allowed then its up to the person following me to change lane if they wish to exceed the speed limit.
Little effect would be more accurate. The point is that most of the middle lane drivers are already going faster than the speed limit so folk who have to pass them in the outside lane and complain are like the person who lives in the greenhouse and yet throws stones. There are an annoying small portion of drivers who potter in that lane but not so many that all this fuss is warranted. As the lack of police patrolling and catching them indicates. Tailgating is much more serious but I suspect different folk have different ideas as to how near tailgating implies. I think there's a general need to drive courteously and not dangerously that needs addressing rather than single out one or two things.
Bright Spark - 'If I'm travelling at the maximum speed allowed then its up to the person following me to change lane if they wish to exceed the speed limit.'

It is also up to you to travel in the left hand lane unless overtaking.
See '264':
https://www.gov.uk/motorways-253-to-273/lane-discipline-264-to-266
but bright spark, it's a well known fact that your w1llie shrinks if you drive in the left hand lane.
...and ride the ruts of lane 1....dream on!!
lol mush...is that what you told your wife.

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