Careless drivers face £100 fines and three points

Tailgaters face new fines
5 Jun, 2013 10:13am Chris Ebbs

Inconsiderate drivers will face tougher punishment under new plans

Drivers caught hogging the middle lane and tailgating will be hit with £100 on-the-spot fines and three points on their licence from July, under new plans from the Government.

The new fines will be introduced in an attempt to cut down the number of motorists having to go through the courts.

Talking on a mobile phone while driving and driving without wearing a seatbelt will also incur £100 fines, up from the current £60 penalty.

Police are also expected to get powers to issue instant fixed penalty notices for not giving way at a junction or using the wrong lane at a roundabout.

The fixed penalty for driving without insurance will increase from £200 to £300.

Most motoring fixed penalties offences will rise under the new plans:

• A non-endorsable (where the driver does not receive points on their licence) £30 fixed penalty notice will rise to £50
• An endorsable (where points are given) £60 and non-endorsable fixed penalty notice will rise to £100
• An endorsable £120 fixed penalty notice will rise to £200
• The fixed penalty notice for driving with no insurance will rise from £200 to £300

"An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use,” AA president Edmund King said.

“We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers - tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle-lane hogs."

However, with the number of traffic police falling from 6,902 in 2003 to 4,608 in March last year, according to Home Office figures, some groups have warned that it may do little to impact on road safety.

Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) director of policy Neil Greig said: “This could free up traffic police time and allow them to maintain a higher profile. But without traffic cops out on the road to enforce this new approach it will have little impact on road safety."

Drivers will still be able to challenge any fine and points given to them through the courts.

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What about the idiots that drift into the outside lane in the path of fast moving traffic to crawl past a car in the middle lane doing there-abouts the same speed?

These drivers are the most inconsiderate and directly cause tailgating, as fast moving traffic in the outside lane have no other choice but to latch onto the back of the car in front, its either that or suddenly brake and cause a pile up.

You have no choice but to latch onto the back of the car in front?
You mean tailgate?
Now I've heard it all. Jeez.
Those who change lanes into the path of faster moving traffic will be considered under the same careless driving offence. It is not one that is being named in the media because it is not one of the top 3 hated offences. Tailgating is one of the top 3 and is inexcusable.

Too many people believe their reason for being somewhere is more important than everybody else's. If a driver in lane 2 needs to overtake another vehicle in the same lane, he has the right to do so at a speed which he deems safe. Just because those doing 80+ don't like that doesn't make it wrong (and most of the traffic in lane 3 in a free-flowing motorway is doing 80+). The difficulty is that the speed differential can be so great that it is almost impossible to make an overtaking manoeuvre into lane 3 without someone feeling inconvenienced.
If you're watching the traffic like you should be, you should be able to anticipate that a vehicle is likely to want to pull into your lane (even if they don't indicate, grr). If there is a pile up in this situation, it's as much or more the fault of people tailgating at high speed than it is someone trying to legally make progress -although, I've never seen such a pile up in 40 years of driving.

Who cares! I'll still drive how I want when I see no police around.

Tail-gating is an effect. Lane hogging is the cause. Address that first.

Wow, some of these comments are wonderful examples of people attempting to normalise their behaviour.

Why not just adopt the same rules as they have in the US when driving on a freeway, where you can undertake if it is safe to do so..

Question. The speed limit on our motorways is 70. If someone is in the middle or outside lanes doing less then the speed limit and I approach them in the inside lane doing the speed limit or just slightly less and I undertake, is that illegal? Or another example, as someone has suggested here - everyones journey is more important then eveyone elses - everyone is driving in the outside lane, I'm in the inside lane with nothing in front of me, the outside lane slows to a crawl. Should I, in the inside lane slow down so I down undertake the last car in the queue? I refer to my original US suggestion.

Fixed penalty notices are unfair.

They penalise wealthy people much less than poor people.

Ten years ago, when I had a well paid job, I'd have shrugged my shoulders and accepted a £50 penalty as "Just another motoring cost, like fuel". Now that I've retired, £50 would really hurt.

To answer the first question, you move to the outside lane safely, and overtake. If the slower car is in the outside lane, you move to the outside lane, maintain a safe distance and allow them to complete their overtaking manoeuvre. You don't undertake. The speed limit is 70. It is a maximum speed limit, not a minimum. If you are unable to pass a car doing 65, and show your displeasure by tailgating, flashing lights, making hand gestures etc, then you'd be in the wrong, not them.

If everyone drove in the inside lane except when overtaking the two outer lanes would be underused for most of the time! Some of the most dangerous manoeuvres I have seen are by drivers using the inside lane then continually popping out and back in (often without signalling) to overtake a slow moving vehicle such as a HGV. If you are driving at or near the legal limit in the middle lane you should not be holding anyone up as they should not be going at more than 70 mph. I agree that tailgating is unforgivable in any circumstances.

Its just a cash grab for a strapped government, has nothing to do with road safety

If there's one thing I can't stand it's when I'm in the outside lane doing 70 mph overtaking someone sitting in the middle lane for no reason, then I get someone racing up behind me trying to get past. Now I'm sorry I'm sticking to the speed limit and let's face it while I'm in front, the driver behind isn't going to get stopped for speeding so I'm actually doing them a favour for that brief time (that's how I like to think of it) before I move back across to the left.

That's if they don't just undertake...

And of course if I'm in the middle lane passing a lorry and I'm likely to catch the next slow vehicle within a minute then it's safer to stay in the middle lane than keep moving across lanes constantly.

How are the 'authorities' going to define 'hogging the middle lane' ? On a three lane motorway the alert competent driver who is travelling at 70 mph and planning his drive, using his/her mirrors will spend a lot of time in the middle lane, for example when catching up with a truck in the left hand lane,
when approaching an 'on' slip road to assist drivers who are entering. If there are no emergency vehicles approaching from the rear, the only people inconvenienced are breaking the law by travelling at 70+ mph.And those are the ones who moan about it. How often do you actually see anyone doing 50 in the middle lane anyway? Very rarely..
Trucks taking 4 miles to overtake another (A14 for example) people exiting dual carriageways at the last second, people barging their way on from slip roads are far more dangerous and always get away with it.

I agree; middle lane hogs are a far smaller danger to others than those you mention in your last para, even if they do annoy me. Although I always try to be in the left lane when safe to do so, I just know that some people hate it when I stay in the middle lane longer than they like and not cut back in as if I'm in a race. As it happens, I won't put myself between two 42-tonners no matter what the law says. I have to take their braking distances into account, not just my own.

Nonetheless, I generally get a better safety zone in the left lane because very, very few people tailgate in that lane (and if they do, it's much easier just to ease off and let them pass). The problem is pulling out to overtake, especially with people cutting in from lane 3 without indicating.

French and Spanish motorways do not allow you to exit from the outside or middle lanes -as shown by a solid line bordering the right-hand lane (lane 1). Cutting across lanes to exit and not indicating are far, far more dangerous than middle lane hogs; they're just tiresome fules.

My my times are really getting desperate at Gov HQ.
Lets get to the real issue about why the powers that be want our hard earned cash. STEALTH TAX is the only way this Government can 'pick our pockets' without us 'feeling it'. They're not really bothered about us, whether we lane hog or go a little fast, and what of that driver who's new to an area and finds himself in the wrong lane at a roundabout tch tch tch naughty boy(hand over your wallet). Naah we're only human and we are NOT allowed to make mistakes. It took the police over 6 hours to visit my neighbour who had been burgled and even then nowt was doing. This nanny state is going too far,ripping off the people of this good nation just so that they can fill their own pockets with fake expense claims.

It is not a tax. Doesn't matter how many times I hear it or read it, its enforcing the correct rules of the road and its something that should have been done since the motorways were opened. There is also no excuse for been in the wrong lane, if you are the correct distance behind someone so you can see the markings on the road and paying proper attention you will see all the signs, that is just an excuse for bad drivers.

If someone is a victim of tailgating it
is usually because that driver is not looking into the rear view mirror every 10 seconds or so, because tailgating is the result of lane hogging and by driving slower than the traffic catching up, correct use of the mirror would end tailgating.

It is unrealistic to use the nearside lane as it cannot be used at a continuous 70 mph speed due to the (in some places) dangerously rippled surfaces caused by heavy vehicles, and the slow speed of trucks etc, popping in and out between trucks is a dangerous practice, the authorities know this so once again the motorist is going to be a cash cow.
I cannot see anything wrong with using the middle lane as long as the user is driving at a minimum speed which I would put at 70 mph, and by keeping a regular eye on the rear view mirror would able any driver to move over in good time for faster approaching traffic, if the outside or overtaking lane is busyor occupied.

After years of driving 100.000 plus
miles a year I have determined that Jaguar drivers sat in the outside lane at 70 mph with the attitude that I am driving at the legal limit therefore you should stay behind me, should be the first to be prosecuted for lane hogging.
The outside lane is only an overtaking lane, it is not for some idiot to sit in it at 70 mph slowing down
following traffic in a personal attempt to apply the law.

If
someone is a victim of tailgating it is usually because that driver
is not looking into the rear view mirror every 10 seconds or so,
because tailgating is the direct
result
of lane hogging and by driving slower than the traffic catching
up, correct use of the mirror would end tailgating.

It
is unrealistic to use the nearside lane as it cannot be used at
a continuous 70 mph speed due to the (in some places)
dangerously rippled surfaces caused by heavy vehicles, and the
slow speed of trucks etc, regularly
swapping lanes
in and out between trucks is a dangerous practice, the
authorities know this so once again the motorist is going to be
used
as a
cash cow.
I
cannot see anything wrong with using the
middle lane as long as the user is driving at a minimum speed which
I would put at 70 mph, and by keeping a regular eye on the rear view
mirror would able any driver to move over in good time for faster
approaching traffic, if the outside or overtaking lane is busy or
occupied.

After
years of driving 100.000 plus miles a year I have determined that
Jaguar drivers sat in the outside lane at 70 mph with the
attitude that I am driving at the legal limit therefore you
should stay behind me, should be the first to be prosecuted for lane
hogging.
The
outside lane is only an overtaking lane,
it is not for some idiot to sit in it at 70 mph slowing down
following traffic in a personal attempt to apply the law.

This is an appalling idea, even though I dislike lane-hoggers and tail-gaters. This will change our justice system, for the worse. Careless driving is not an absolute offence, it is subjective, hence your right for it to be heard in court and to defend yourself.Now this is bad enough if your are fined by a traffic officer but, according to the magazine today, it is open to all officers and on all roads. So, if, in the opinion of a totally untrained beat bobby, he didn't like the way you drove down the high street, then £100 and three points, thank you very much!!! It would appear that we can be convicted on the opinion of someone who may not have a licence, let alone specialist traing. Yea, superb idea this one. We will come to regret not fighting this now.

Bottom line is that you should check your mirrors, if there is a car in the outside lane coming up fast (regardless of them speeding), then you should wait until they pass, unless you know you can get out and in again safely.

As someone who is regularly 'that car up-your-arse because you've just pulled out in front of them', I can tell you that I definitely don't see it that your doing me a favour, instead I see it that your an extremely bad driver for causing me to brake harshly, and the car behind me, and the car behind that... and so on...

I do check my mirrors when i pull out into the fast lane and I can't wait for that car that's just appeared on the horizon otherwise I'd never be able to overtake but I (as should everyone) pull out with plenty of distance to the next car behind.

The fact is that if you were sticking to the speed limit like myself, you wouldn't need to 'brake harshly' as you put it because you wouldn't be closing in on any cars doing 70 mph in the outside lane at excessive speeds. In any case, you should anticipate a need to slow down and lift off the throttle before needing to apply the brakes.

Vehicles should ONLY be doing 70 mph in the outside lane so I agree it's annoying if you get stuck behind anyone going slower than that but someone doing the speed LIMIT in the outside lane of the motorway shouldn't be a problem.

Meanwhile... In the real world, the majority of people travel above 70mph. Good drivers will account for this

And so I do.

I hope people don't get the idea that this is being done for road safety reasons, its being done so the government can raise the rates and then get the full benefit of the fine by not having to deal with all that "legal stuff" formerly known as justice and "right to reply".

The way I see it is the yellow lines and speed cameras are no longer effective, what the government needs to do is to make motorist run through some extra hoops.

And while we are at it what are the government going to do about cyclists insurance, and standards for bike and rider?

AEX 1334
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