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Fines for middle lane hoggers
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Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:56PM
So there are plans to introduce on the spot fines for middle lane hoggers and mobile phone users - fine but how on earth will this be policed? I certainly don't have to drive very far to see someone with a phone stuck to their ear! On the subject of middle lane hoggers - how big a problem is this really? I haven't much driven on UK three lane motorways for several years, slow lanes tended to be bigger stuff, slow moving cars and some caravans, if someone is hogging the middle lane, overtake them in the fast lane, travelling at around the legal maximum I would be in the middle lane much of the time to avoid the slow stuff. It's a much bigger problem in Ireland where the motorway network is mostly two lane. Here outside lane hoggers are a real menace (also on dual carriageways and wider 4 lane roads as they sit there daydreaming or maybe turning right several miles down the road! This leads to frustration and undercutting which is, I would have thought, a much bigger issue than middle lane hogging?
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Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:27PM
Not the only offenders I know but I just wondered that if you have a big 4x4 with big metal bars bolted on the front that tailgating was compulsory.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 7:43AM
I don't see any problem to enforcing this new law and I believe it is not before time, we have all seen the people that this new law is aimed at.Empty nearside lane, they come off the slip road and join the centre lane and sit there fixed mile after mile at 50 to 60 mph completely unaware and seemingly uncaring of what is going on around them. Forcing drivers to move across two lanes to overtake. We all know that lane changes at speed is an activity most dangerous on a motorway, so anything which reduces the need to do so must enhance safety I say don't just give award three points, take their licence away after two similar offences until they have undertaken a course of motorway driver training. I also think that tailgating should be dealt with more seriously, but if drivers could discover that they can move across when going slower that problem would be reduced dramatically.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 8:43AM
'motorway driver training'
I don't know what happens now but I'm one of the millions of people who didn't do any motorway driving before passing the test. It is little wonder that people don't know how to drive on them.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:03AM
The main reason that many people drive in the middle lane is that especially on busy routes there are large numbers of HGVs in the left hand lane with a speed limit of 60mph. Its seems much safer to me to stay in the centre lane at 70mph than to keep changing in and out of the left lane to pass these slower lorries. Of course if you want to drive at less than 70mph you need to stay in the slower lane.
I once had to brake hard at an on slip when a car with two elderly ladies came out of the slip road straight over into the centre lane at about 40mph.
Personally I think those drivers who tear down the outside lane at well over the speed limit are more dangerous than anything, especially when you see them travelling only 1 or 2 car lengths apart.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:15AM
I passed my test back in 1974 with BSM. After passing they talked me into the 1 hour motorway awareness course. I'm glad that they did looking back, and certainly agree that it should be a compulsory post test requirement.
I passed for an HGV licence 18 years after that and surprised myself at how my spacial awareness on the roads had slipped in an enclosed vehicle during that training. I specify an enclosed vehicle because at that time I was always a motorbikist, and on two vulnerable wheels I automatically upped my traffic awareness without realising it, so I think it would be a great benefit to have a compulsory 2 hour road/spacial awareness course (not a pass/fail test, unless the reactions are way below what's required) every 10 years when the licence pictures require renewal, or whenever a renewal is required by age or medical.
This would also have the added bonus of getting drivers used to the fact that they may not be entitled to drive forever by right.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:41AM
I can see a bumper time for burglars and the like as our police will be tied up in trying to enforce evermore un-enforceable laws.
Add these to not using mobiles, eating and maybe soon up here in Scotland smoking in a vehicle with kids the police will have little time to catch the real unpleasant elements of society as they will be too busy catching drivers doing the above dastardly deeds.
By the way I do not know what the law is in England but we here in Scotland have not been allowed to smoke in business vehicles for some years now. But I do not think there have been many if any fines. It certainly never stopped me when I was both a smoker and a delivery driver.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:57AM
I drive a lot in Texas where the problem of middle lane hoggers and tail gaters is practically unheard of. Why? Because three lanes are not designated as Slow, Middle, Fast and all lanes are available to all vehicles (the occasional exception might be if there are 4, 5 or more lanes where trucks are forbidden in the outer lane). People overtake and undertake quite happily and I have never had lights flashed to tell me to pull over because another vehicle wants to come through. Tail gating in Texas means having a party in a parking lot with your pick up truck tail gate down so that you can rest the beer on it.
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Posted June 6, 2013 at 11:40AM
"Tail gating in Texas means having a party in a parking lot with your pick up truck tail gate down so that you can rest the beer on it."
I wonder if that will become the norm at the Whetherspoon motorway service areas?
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Posted June 7, 2013 at 1:49PM
I'm all for it the fines IF they are actually enforced. I drive quite a lot, and like others here, have driven many times in at least 10 different countries around the world and Britain is, in my experience at least, one of the worst for people driving in the wrong lane and/or too close. I do however agree with FE, that by far and away the worst drivers I have experienced are in Italy. I couldn't tell if they are just appallingly bad, or appallingly ignorant....or both, absolutely shocking.
I do quite a lot of motorway driving here, and what the middle lane hoggers, and particularly, the tailgaters also cause are significant traffic hold ups, which in turn cause frustration, which can then lead to foolish behavior by some and hence collisions.
I once watched a TV program about the M25 which opened my eyes to something that I have since seen on innumerable occasions. They had an aerial view of one section, filmed over about 1 hour and played back at about 3x real time speed. What it showed was that many of those traffic jams that you hit, and then miraculously disappear with no apparent reason for them, are simply caused by poor drivers driving too close and overreacting to the car in front touching their brakes. The nupmties overreact and over brake which causes a chain reaction that eventually, maybe 500 yards back, causes everyone to come to total stop. It happens over and over again, almost like a ripple effect, in waves up and down the carriageway, and there is absolutely no blockage at all......just poor driving standards.
I must say, I also think our driving tests are far too easy to pass. There is not a day goes by that I don't see a number of drivers who appear to have little or no control over their car, cannot judge speed and distance and are a pure hindrance to every other road user. Maybe it was always so, I don't know, but with the sheer volume of cars on todays roads, I think it is certainly more pronounced and noticeable.
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Posted June 7, 2013 at 2:50PM
In my experience of driving all over the western hemisphere
Worst drivers by country - Italy, Turkey, Britain
By city - Turin, Rome, Paris
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