Hundreds found to break common motorway rule which ‘encourages’ dangerous driving

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Police have confirmed they picked up 117 drivers for simple lane hogging and tailgating as part of a road safety operation. The Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) Safer Lane operation tracked down road users who had driven too closely to the vehicle in front.

Drivers were also stopped for poor lane management meaning they had not returned to the left-hand lane when they needed to.

Of the 117 vehicles which were stopped, 89 drivers were issued with a fine or penalty points on their licence.

The remaining 28 were given a warning from officers to not commit the crime again.

Sergeant Rob Powell from CMPG said the initiative was launched as a “direct response” to concerns from various road users.

He claimed that rules were “there for a reason” after warning that motorways were “dangerous”.

He said: “This two-week campaign – which is focused on enforcing those lane hogging and close following – comes as a direct response to concerns made by members of the public, who actively want us to target those committing these offences.

“The motorways are probably one of the most dangerous road environments that you’ll come across and the speed limits and rules are there for a reason.”

Rule 2644 of the Highway Code states drivers should “always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear”.

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Drivers overtaking slow-moving vehicles “should return to the left-hand lane” as soon as they have got past.

The RAC warns that lane hogging can lead to congestion as traffic has to funnel through one lane instead of two.

It can also lead to safety risk as drivers may move across two lanes to overtake a vehicle which could be dangerous.

Lane hogging and tailgating are considered careless driving offences with motorists liable for on the spot fines of £100 and three penalty points.

This can increase to £2,500 in severe cases or if the incident is directed to a court for judgement.

But research from reveals many road users could be caught unaware by the penalty.

Four in five UK drivers were unaware that tailgating can lead to penalty points and fines.

Meanwhile, 37 percent said they were not aware that hogging the middle lane could also lead to enforcement.

Sergeant Powell added: “People think lanes two to four are there to be used if they’re open, however, they’re only there to be used in certain circumstances – mainly for overtaking.

“Once you’ve completed your overtake you must return back to the left-hand lane if safe to do so. If you don’t then it encourages dangerous and illegal driving – including undertaking and speeding.

“If found committing these offences you will receive penalty points and a fine as shown during this operation.

“It’s vital people listen to what we have to say and use the lanes properly. Do this and our roads will be safer.”

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