Thousands fined for middle-lane hogging

Motorway stock
Ben Birchall/PA WIRE

At least 10,000 motorists have received fines for offences such as middle-lane hogging on motorways and undertaking, since new legislation was introduced in 2013 to tackle anti-social driving, The Times has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request conducted by the newspaper showed that the majority of police forces across the country are taking advantage of new powers to issue £100 on-the-spot fines and three penalty points for careless driving.

Prior to August 2013, instances of careless driving were dealt with by Magistrates' Courts, with many offenders let off due to problems with collecting sufficient evidence of their driving behaviour.

Amongst the drivers penalised, The Times reports that one motorist in Cumbria received a £100 fine for driving with a mattress across their front passenger seat, obstructing their view of the road ahead.

Other offenders included a driver who had been "distracted by a female passenger", while another had been using their car as a mobile office and was completing paperwork that was strewn over their steering wheel.

The legislation also allows police to tackle drivers who choose to soak pedestrians by deliberately driving at speed through standing water.

Thirty-five of the UK's 45 police forces responded to The Times' request for information on the number of drivers fined between August 2013 and August 2014, with a total of 9,852 penalties recorded. The total number of drivers likely to have been penalised is estimated to be closer to 13,000.

However, driving groups have claimed that the new legislation amounted to a postcode lottery, as some forces had not been actively enforcing the new legislation.

Have you been affected by legislation to tackle anti-social driving? Do you think you were unfairly penalised? Have your say in the comments section below.