Motorway drivers have been warned that they shouldn’t be hogging the middle lane of the motorway, because the price they might end up paying could be a lot more than you think.
Of course, the idea of getting a fine and penalty points on your licence might be a decent deterrent against causing problems on the road, but that shouldn’t be the main driving force – pun completely intended – for you to not transgress.
Whilst middle lane hogging - a classic example of which can be seen here - might not seem like one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road, it’s definitely one of the most frustrating.
Sitting behind someone just cruising along the middle strip of road is unbelievably annoying, and it also encourages other people to drive dangerously.
Undertaking on the motorway – or anywhere else for that matter – is not only illegal, but also incredibly dangerous.
So, with that in mind, the punishment if you’re captured just squatting in the middle lane without good reason is pretty high.
In fact, the fine is unlimited and you could receive up to 11 penalty points if you’re caught.
Those upper ends might only be reached if you are caught flagrantly and egregiously flaunting the rules, but it tells you how seriously it is taken.
If you’re charged with careless driving – a real possibility – you can receive those higher level fines, but most likely it’ll be three penalty points and a £100 fine.
Not exactly what you want anyway, is it?
The Highway Code tells us: “Keep in the left lane unless overtaking.
“If you are overtaking, you should return to the left lane when it is safe to do so."
There are times when it might be for the best to get into the middle lane though, and you aren’t going to be fined or punished in these situations.
For example, if you’re in heavy traffic you can get into the middle lane sometimes, and you can obviously stay in the middle lane a bit longer if you’ve just overtaken and you’re waiting for cars to join the carriageway from a slip lane.
Also, if you see someone stopped on the hard shoulder it might be a good idea to pull out into the middle lane if safe to do so.
That’s just in case someone emerges from behind the car, and allows you to pass at a safer distance.
Elsewhere in the Highway Code, we are told: "Be aware of emergency services, traffic officers, recovery workers and other people or vehicles stopped on the hard shoulder or in an emergency area.
“If you are driving in the left lane, and it is safe to do so, you should move into the adjacent lane to create more space between your vehicle and the people and stopped vehicles."
Just be careful about getting comfortable in that middle lane though, because you shouldn’t be hanging around there.Featured Image Credit: Gary Parker / Powered by Light / Alan Spencer / Alamy