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Middle lane-hogging and tailgating targeted by new £1.5m campaign 

National Highways aims to raise the profile of the two problems most likely to aggravate drivers on UK roads

Middle lane hogging

A third of drivers have confessed to middle-lane hogging, while nearly a quarter have admitted to tailgating - at least occasionally.

Those are the findings of a survey of 2,500 drivers carried out for National Highways, and it has shared the results to support the launch of its latest campaign to try and stamp out these twin scourges that cause anger and frustration among drivers, as well as danger on the road.

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Using the tagline ‘little changes, change everything’, the £1.5 million campaign runs to the end of March, and will feature on radio and TV adverts, podcasts, and roadside billboards, as well as on posters at motorway service stations, retail parks and filling stations. The campaign will also appear on social media channels.

Staying in the middle lane when not overtaking disrupts traffic flow and can be dangerous, causing congestion and increasing the risk of collision, the body responsible for running and maintaining England’s motorways says. The campaign will also highlight the ‘two second rule’ for keeping a safe distance between your car and the one in front. Tailgating is said to be a factor in 1 in 8 motorway collisions, and the ‘little changes’ the campaign promotes are keeping to the left and staying two seconds behind the car in front.

Here at Auto Express, we’re aware that some drivers are reluctant to use the left-hand lane of ‘smart’ motorways featuring all-lane running and no hard shoulder, but according to National Highways there’s no excuse for not keeping left.
“Rule 264 of the Highway Code tells us to 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,” a spokesperson told us.  

“Problems can happen in any lane, so it is important to be aware of hazards in the whole environment. By looking far ahead you can create the space and time needed to manage hazards. By returning to the left lane when it is safe, we can play a part in helping the traffic keep flowing and can reduce hazards.”

What are your thoughts on middle-lane hogging? let us know in the comments...

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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