THOSE irritating motorway middle-lane hoggers who hold you up on the way to a job will now risk a £100 fine and three penalty points following the introduction of new rules on careless driving.
Poor lane discipline adds to the problem of traffic flow, congestion, and unpredictable journey times, according the Department of Transport, all factors that make life difficult for business van drivers.
New legislation will give the police the power to issue fixed-penalty notices for careless driving and allow them greater flexibility when dealing with less serious careless driving offences, and should cut down on those annoying ‘menaces’ who slow your journey times.
But make sure you keep your distance: driving dangerously close to the vehicle in front –‘tailgating’ – will also to be dealt with on the spot.
And don’t be tempted to answer your mobile or make a call while driving.
It’s already illegal and now existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences – including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt – will increase to £100 to bring them into line with penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.
The penalty for not having correct insurance will also be increased, from £100 to £200. And police are 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.
Commenting on the crackdown on anti-social motoring, AA president Edmund King said: “An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Institute of Advanced Motorists director of policy and research Neil Greig commented: “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.”
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