Middle lane hoggers should be welcomed as they keep the speeders on our motorways in check; and as we're always all being told speed kills! That's why there are speed limits in the first place.
But in a populist move the government are including the actions of mid lane hoggers within a raft of new offences that the police can stop and fine you on the spot for. That is if a policeman can be found on the roads these days.
However, the targeting of mid lane hoggers is misguided.
I understand that this is probably aimed at those who pootle around at 40-50 mph in the middle lane when they should be in the inside lane but in my experience these are very few and far between. Most lane hoggers are proceeding at or about the speed limit.
As there are not many police on the road this move will give those that charge around our motorways and dual carriageways the feeling that they have the moral high ground and authority to bully those that are within the speed limit.
For example, occasionally even on clearish motorways when travelling at 70 mph I move over to the outside overtaking lane to pass a lorry on the inside doing 55 mph and a car in the middle lane overtaking the lorry but doing just 65mph. All completely legal. But up your chuff comes the wide boy/gal doing 90-95 mph who gets as close as they can making sure you know that the road is theirs and you should get out of their way as quickly as possible flashing their lights in the process. Drivers like this already think they have the choice to speed and this proposal will just reinforce their beliefs. And like many I suspect I do not move across to let them through until I am absolutely sure it is safe to do so and in the meantime make it clear to the git behind me that he is not in control of the situation – I will not be bullied.
It is not up to me to make way for those who think they are above the law or for those who cannot plan ahead so as to be able to make that meeting in time without resorting to putting both themselves and me at risk by speeding.
As an extra thought, is it not my duty as a citizen to do my best to prevent other people breaking the law? In fact, if you are going at the speed limit and you pull over to let someone pass you knowing that they are breaking the law are you not then aiding and abetting their law-breaking?
There should be a clear declaration that no-one will be fined for lane hogging if they proceed at the speed limit as they keep the speed on motorways down so limiting the risk to us all. And if someone gets angry at the behaviour of other drivers while driving then they should pull over at the next service station to cool off as otherwise they could make a bad and risky decision.
Then there is the matter of fining people for being in the wrong lanes on roundabouts etc. When you drive around in an area you know well most people are irritated by those ditherers who've come from far afield and don't know where they're going. I don't know about you but when I drive in an area I don't know to get to an address I've never been to before I do tend to go slowly and peer about like Mr Magoo and ending up in the wrong lane looking for clues as to my destination – even with satnav (which is far from perfect). I am human and make I mistakes, these new proposals do not seem to allow for this and it is those that drive in places they have never been to before that will bear the brunt of this.
At the end of the day I see these as populist moves by an unpopular government, which also has the handy add-on of allowing revenue raising via fines.