RAC Cars News


£100 Fines For Road Hogs & Tailgating

By raccars Published

Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has prepared new guidelines for traffic police aimed at poor motorway manners. A new careless driving category will incur a fixed penalty, in addition to increases to existing penalty fines.

The new regulations are aimed at drivers blocking the motorway middle lane, who will receive a £100 fine and three points added to their licence. Drivers who cut up other motorists, tailgate or hog the outside lane of dual carriageways will also now be subject to a fixed penalty notice.

Furthermore, existing penalty fine rates are being increased from £60 to £100 and will apply to offences such as using a mobile telephone while driving, jumping traffic lights and speeding, along with three penalty points added to licences. Failure to use a seatbelt will also incur the £100 fine.

Police officers will be expected to use their judgement to decide how close to the car in front is considered tailgating, based on Highway Code guidelines. Penalties will be issued on the spot but traffic police are not expected to abuse the system and are likely to use discretion and apply it mainly in cases where a motorist has breached the rules for at least half a mile. Repeat offenders will be offered places on driving improvement courses, in the style of those already attended by speeding offenders.

A motoring organisation recently conducted a poll to discover which on road behaviour is most despised by other drivers, with middle lane hogging, tailgating and mobile phone use taking the top spots. There is concern that administrative red tape and costs will be prohibitive, meaning only serious and repeat offenders will face conviction. However in clear cases of drivers using the wrong lane or tailgating, the added police powers will be far more effective at detection and enforcement than fixed cameras.

The new regulations have been drawn up following a consultation with members of the public last year and will be revealed in a forthcoming written statement by Stephen Hammond, minister for road safety. The regulations are aimed specifically at dual carriageways, motorways and three lane carriageways.

Using a hand-held mobile 'phone while driving was banned in 2003 and has been a penalty offence since 2007 but hands free mobile 'phone use is legal.

Further to the aforementioned penalty notices, uninsured drivers will be subject to penalty fine increases, the current £200 going up to £300.

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