Driving School Leeds: Hugging the Middle Lane Offences

Behind the Headlines recently was a motorist really penalised for hogging the middle lane of the motorway. Then, the papers in the United Kingdom (UK) were full of one story after a driver was thought from driving school Leeds to be the motorist being first to be fined due to an offence of “hogging the middle lane” on the M62.

The driver was identified as Mr. George (real name withheld for confidentiality) who was ordered to pay the costs and a fine totaling around £900, and received five penalty points on his licence after the incident on what was believed to be the first court conviction for such an offence against the rules of the road.

The Court has heard the driver failed to move back into the left-hand lane even if he had a lot of opportunities to do so. Instead, he chose to drive in an inconsiderate manner. However, there was something the press people were eager to emphasise, and that is how this was the first court conviction for an offence against the rule which was already introduced back in 2013.

So, the inquiry has been focused on what was this offence and how could drivers be prosecuted for similar offence? Then it was explained that there’s nothing new in this story and there’s actually no such offence as “Hogging the Middle Lane.”

Then, it was disputed being contrary to popular belief that this is the first court conviction across the UK because there’s no such an offence of middle lane hugging. Thus, the offence committed in this instance is the so-called “Driving Without Due Care and Attention,” which is commonly known as “Careless Driving.”

This offence of careless driving is committed where a person’s driving standard is falling below that of a “Competent and Careful” motorist who drives his vehicle without due consideration of the safety of other road users.

In considering if driving falls below such standard, the law takes into account the UK’s Highway Code and an objective driving standard which is acceptable. In fact, some drivers are better than others, so as they were at wheels on a motorway, the inside lane is their driving lane with the two outer lanes being their overtaking lanes.

This could mean that a motorist who’s driving according to the accepted standard will often be in the inside lane unless he’s overtaking other drivers. In this case, it would appear that the Magistrates’ court concluded that Mr. George had been driving on the middle lane without passing other motorway traffic, consequently his driving has fallen below the standard.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if a motorist has committed an offence of careless driving which includes the hogging of middle lane and would be detected by the police, then he would often be in the first instance to be offered a fixed fine of a £100 and three penalty points on his driving licence rather than going into a costly court proceedings.

In the case of Mr. George, however, the police thought his offence was so serious, so the fixed penalty notice was not accepted, thus the case was taken before the Magistrates’ Court where the penalty was calculated as one and a half times a driver’s weekly net income totaling to a maximum of £5,000 and his licence was endorsed with three to nine penalty points.

Then, Mr. George only got five penalty points and a financial penalty totaling to £900. This amount would be made to include the prosecutions costs and a “Victim Impact Surcharge,” which is required to be paid by every person convicted of an offence.

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