Advertisement

Police stop over 5,000 drivers for lane hogging and tailgating

Exclusive figures reveal impact of new careless driving laws after six months

Policeman and motorist

Traffic cops have pulled over more than 5,000 motorists under new laws to curb lane hogging and tailgating.

Auto Express submitted Freedom of Information requests to all 45 forces to see how many they’d stopped and why, and can reveal 5,472 drivers have been stopped since 16 August, when the new powers came into force.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Minimum bay parking size to be axed as cars get too big

The laws allow police to issue on-the-spot fines and licence points to drivers for careless driving such as lane hogging, tailgaiting or wheelspins. Drivers can also be dealt with by way of an educational course, similar to the drink-driving scheme offered to cut the length of a driving ban.

The exclusive figures show Police Scotland issued the most, with 1,454, although it covers a larger area than many forces. In second place was Nottinghamshire. Many forces were unable to tell us exactly why drivers had been stopped – they could only split them between those pulled over for driving without due care and attention and inconsiderate driving.

• Variable speed limits planned for motorway roadworks

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

However, several forces did break it down. Out of these 600 specific offences, there were 154 lane hoggers – the most (48) in Thames Valley. Undertaking offences were recorded 84 times, as were 46 tailgaters. Drivers doing things like wheelspins or handbrake turns accounted for 143 offences – with 42 of these recorded in Lancashire.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Over the past six months, police also witnessed a host of other offences that fall under the new legislation, including accelerating through a puddle or mounting the kerb.

Some forces don’t issue fixed penalty notices, dealing with cases by traffic offence reports and re-education. But five – Northumbria, Durham, Dyfed-Powys, South Wales and Cleveland – aren’t stopping inconsiderate drivers at all as they don’t have the facilities to offer the education course.

One in 10 motorists think MOT is an option

Our figures are the first sign of how frequently the new laws are being applied, so we asked key industry bodies for their feedback.

The Department for Transport declined to comment as its statistics work in 12-month cycles. It said any impact on road safety would be difficult to gauge.

But RAC Foundation director Prof Stephen Glaister said: “The encouraging thing is that this new law is being used by police. The long-term test is whether accident rates fall.”

 

The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Neil Greig added: “We had doubts about whether it would become a numbers game, but the figures suggest the power’s being used in the right way.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, national roads policing lead at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “Officers have found the new procedures helpful as they seek to raise standards of driving and keep road users safe.” 

 

 

Top 10 police forces

 

 

Police Scotland1,454
Nottinghamshire977
Met Police544
Humberside389
West Yorkshire272
Essex242
Lancashire194
Greater Manchester184
Surrey162
Hampshire144
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021
News

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021

Volkswagen has revised its complete range of vehicles for 2021, adding new engines, fresh tech and its latest MIB3 infotainment system
11 Aug 2020
Best new car deals 2020
Best cars & vans

Best new car deals 2020

Secure your dream model from our list of the best new car deals on the market right now
6 Aug 2020
New Maserati Ghibli Trofeo arrives to take on BMW M5
Maserati Ghibli

New Maserati Ghibli Trofeo arrives to take on BMW M5

The new Maserati Ghibli Trofeo packs a 572bhp V8 engine – and it’s looking to give the BMW M5 a bloody nose
10 Aug 2020