First driver convicted in court of hogging the middle lane of a motorway says he was victimised for driving a white van.
Driver Fined £940 for Hogging Middle Lane
The first motorist convicted in court of hogging the middle lane of a motorway says he was victimised for driving a white van, the Mirror reports. Ian Stephens, 42, was fined £940 and received 5 penalty points for cruising at 60mph in the middle lane of the M62 in his Citroen Berlingo. “It’s because I drive a white van (and) people will like that I’ve been made an example of”, he argues. Police say that 6 drivers had to brake and swerve to overtake as the Berlingo travelled east. The court heard he had numerous opportunities to move into the left lane but stayed in the middle.
Middle Lane Hogging Dangerous
PC Nigel Fawcett-Jones, of the Road Policing Unit, says dangerous lane hogging causes congestion and inconvenience to other road users. He adds: “It reduces the capacity of roads and motorways, and can lead to dangerous situations where other drivers tailgate the vehicle in front to try and get the lane hogger to move over. PC Fawcett-Jones continues: “Members of the public regularly tell the Road Policing Unit that lane hogging and tailgating are real problems on our roads. This conviction shows that the police and the courts understand the public's concerns and take this offence seriously”.
Middle Lane Van Driver Discusses Fine
But Mr Stephens – a father of 2 and grandfather of 3 from Shevington – claims to have been treated unfairly. He says: “It’s rubbish that I made other people swerve and brake. That didn’t happen. All 3 lanes were full and they were all busy. I had my ladders on the roof (and) there were a lot of vans in the inside lane. It was uphill and very windy”, he says. I was still going faster than the lorries and articulated trucks on the inside lane.”
Mr Stephens adds: “I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I don’t drive like an idiot - I had a clean licence until this happened. I’ve never been done for speeding, I’m not a reckless driver, I didn’t even realise I’d been the first person to be convicted of this. He concludes: I didn’t put anybody in danger.” Mr Stephens is self-employed and raising the money to pay the fine might prove challenging. He is now considering an appeal.
Middle Lane Hogging and the Law
Mr Stephens fell fowl of a law introduced in 2013 that covers misdemeanours such as tailgating, failing to give way at a junction, undertaking and – of course – incorrect use of a middle lane. Click here for a full explanation of the law from motoring lawyer Alison Ashworth of Forster Dean Solicitors.
Where Are the UK's Worst Spots for Lane Hogging?
Recent research by direct line released last August found that out of 2,000 drivers, 43% said they drive in the middle lane because it is an ‘easier way to drive’ and ‘saves me changing lanes’.
The research also found the worst stretches of motorway for middle lane hogging.
- M4 J5-J6 westbound (Slough) 27%
- M1 J4-J5 southbound (Watford) 26%
- M4 J7-J8/9 eastbound (Slough) 24%
- M25 J4-J5 clockwise (Sevenoaks) 22%
- M25 J12-J13 anti-clockwise (Cheshunt) 21%
- M4 J2-J3 westbound (Brentford) 19%
- M25 J18-J19 anti-clockwise (Watford) 19%
- M25 J16-J17 clockwise (Gerrards Cross) 17%
- M4 J5-J6 eastbound (Heathrow) 16%
- M25 J16-J17 anti-clockwise (Gerrards Cross) 12%
Are You a Self-Confessed Middle Lane Hogger? Have Your Say