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Can I be fined for hogging the fast lane?

HOGGING the fast lane is something many of us drivers are guilty of.

But what does the law say? And what is the right way to deal with it? Here is everything you need to know.

You should only be here if you’re overtaking traffic travelling more slowly on the left

What is fast lane hogging?

The fast lane should only be used by motorists who are overtaking traffic in the slow and middle lanes. 

This happens frequently, as lorries are limited to around 56mph, while most cars may travel at speeds of up to 70mph on the motorway. 

But as soon as this manoeuvre is complete, the overtaking car must move back into the left-hand lane. 

Delaying this move could land the driver with a fine and points as it falls under careless driving laws.

This means you’re breaking the same law as you would if you were tailgating or running a red light, just for not moving over.

Some drivers sit in the middle and fast lanes for long periods of time because they are unaware of the rules of the road. 

Most people do the vast majority of their motorway driving without the guidance of an instructor so may have never been told that this is illegal.

Hogging the fast lane can be dangerous, as well as frustrating for other road users.

How long can I stay in the fast lane?

According to the Highway Code, Rule 264, you should: “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.”

Some drivers have been stopped by police after driving for several miles in the middle lane when the left lane is clear. 

You should not be in the fast lane unless there is slower-moving traffic in both lanes to your left. 

If there are several vehicles travelling slowly in the left-hand lane, and there’s sufficient gap between them for you to safely pull in, you should do this. 

Two distant vehicles should be overtaken in separate maneuvers, rather than one long one.

What are the fines for hogging the fast lane?

If police think you have stayed in the middle or fast lane for too long, you could get pulled over. 

Since 2013, police have had the right to pull over middle-lane hoggers and issue them with an on-the-spot-fine.

Penalties include a fine of £100, three penalty points, and a driver awareness course.

Fines can rise dramatically if the motorist contests this in court. 

If police think you are driving without due care and attention, you could get fined up to £5,000.

What should I do if I see a fast lane hogger?

Regardless of how the driver in front of you is behaving, you must drive responsibly. 

That means maintaining a safe distance between you and the car in front. 

According to the Highway Code, your stopping distance at 70mph is 96 metres – around the length of a full-sized football pitch. 

This is how far you should be from the car in front, even if they’re driving too slowly for the lane that they are in. 

That being the case, here are a few don’ts for when you encounter fast-lane hoggers.

Don’t:

  • Get angry
  • Undertake
  • Try to teach them a lesson by tailgating or cutting them up

Am I allowed to use the fast lane?

Yes, normal cars are permitted to use all lanes of the motorway unless they are towing a trailer.

However, it is an offence to drive in the fast lane with a trailer attached to your car.

Goods vehicles with a maximum laden weight of over 7.5 tonnes are also excluded from the right-hand lane of a motorway, as are most buses.

But you shouldn’t spend any longer in the fast lane than you need to.

As soon as you have overtaken the traffic, you should return to the left.

September 25, 2023 at 11:10AM

from The Sun

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