A van driver has become the first person to be convicted of middle-lane hogging, resulting in what some might call a well-deserved £1,000 fine and five penalty points on his licence.

The motorist was stopped by West Yorkshire police in April last year for consistently failing to move out of the middle lane while driving his Citroen Berlingo van on the M62. According to the police, six drivers had to brake before swerving to overtake the van. Failing to turn up to court, the driver was given five penalty points and fined £500 in his absence while being ordered to pay £400 in costs and hand over a £40 victim surcharge.

The conviction is believed to be the first made since the law for the incorrect use of middles lanes was introduced in 2013 to combat the dangerous nuisance – research has shown that middle-lane hogging causes a third of motorway capacity to be wasted, leading to congestion and traffic jams:

[Lane hogging] 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. Members of the public regularly tell the Road Policing Unit that lane hogging and tailgating are real problems on our roads and this conviction shows that the police and the courts understand the public’s concerns and take this offence seriously.”

– PC Nigel Fawcett-Jones, Road Policing Unit, West Yorkshire.

Image © West Midlands Police