Crackdown launched on middle-lane hoggers and tailgaters | CAR Magazine

Crackdown launched on middle-lane hoggers and tailgaters

Published: 08 March 2024 Updated: 11 March 2024

► New campaign urges drivers to make ‘little changes’
► A third of drivers admit to hogging lanes
► Will it make a difference?

A new campaign is being launched to crack down on middle-lane hoggers and tailgaters, two of drivers’ biggest bugbears.

National Highways, formerly known as Highways England, is now launching the campaign to urge motorists to make ‘little changes’ to help reduce frustration on the roads and reduce journey times as a result.

Survey finds drivers’ hog the middle lane – who’d have guessed!

As if spending time on British motorways and major A roads isn’t enough to tell you that motorists love to sit in the middle lane, National Highways conducted a survey…

The study of 2,500 drivers revealed that 32 per cent admitted to being middle-lane hoggers at least occasionally, while 34 per cent noticed other motorists doing it. Little bit worrying that two-thirds didn’t notice it, right?

As for tailgaters, 67 per cent of drivers said that it was a ‘serious problem’ on main trunk roads, with 23 per cent of motorists admitting to driving too close to the vehicle in front at least occasionally. 

What’s been done to crackdown on middle-lane hogging?

This campaign is being run by National Highways, which has the job of looking after England’s motorways and major A roads, but doesn’t have any enforcement powers itself. 

The organisation’s new campaign carries the slogan ‘little changes, changes everything’. It will air the campaign on radio and television adverts, podcasts, roadside billboards and on social media, among other places. You might have noticed an increased use of ‘keep left unless overtaking’ displayed on motorway gantries already, too. 

National Highways director of road safety Sheena Hague said: ‘Bad habits can make driving on our motorways a challenging experience, as those who lane hog or tailgate frustrate other drivers and make them feel unsafe. Both are dangerous and can cause accidents. 

‘Our campaign aims to motivate motorists to embrace little changes, which will have an overall positive effect on both them and their fellow road users, reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing. 

‘The message is simple – always allow plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front, and unless overtaking, move into the left-hand lane.’

Will it work?

One can hope the message gets across to more motorists – and especially if you have the misfortune of regularly driving on the M25, where there’s seemingly a magnetic field keeping motorists from using anything that isn’t the third or the fourth lane. 

Many drivers that currently lane-hog, in particular, may be unaware of what they’re doing, so a small reminder might indeed help. 

However, unless there’s more enforcement by the police of middle-lane hogging and those tailgating, little difference is likely to be made. Both offences do fall under the ‘careless driving’ umbrella, however, with police having powers to hand out on-the-spot fines of £100 and three penalty points. 

By Ted Welford

Senior staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers. Loves a car auction. Enjoys making things shiny