Tractor driver fined for causing half-mile tailback

Had 50 vehicles trapped behind

Updated: 
Tractor & Congestion in Worcestershire

In a victory for frustrated motorists everywhere, a tractor driver has been fined £485 for allowing a massive queue to build up behind him.

Crawling along at 25 miles per hour, 20-year-old farm worker Jake Fear, of Highbridge, Somerset, eventually caused a tail-back of 50 vehicles as he drove along the A39 near Glastonbury, Somerset last November.

His tractor, pulling a trailer, was finally pulled over by police, who spotted the half-mile-long queue. He was charged with driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.

According to Somerset Live, Fear passed at least three points where he could have pulled over to allow traffic to pass, but didn't bother to do so - despite the fact that slow drivers are expected to do this at every third opportunity.

"The trailer contained beet which was piled high and due to the manner of driving the officer stopped Fear and asked why he hadn't pulled over," said prosecutor Christine Hart.

"He replied that he had only noticed the lorry behind him and he did not see the half a mile of traffic and argued that there had not been any places to pull over."

Magistrates fined him £190 for the offence - as well as £190 for driving on a bald tyre - and ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge. He also had three points added to his licence.

Fear was prosecuted under a new set of driving laws introduced in 2013. They allow police to act over inconsiderate or selfish behaviour, such as tailgating, hogging the middle lane of the motorway or deliberately splashing pedestrians by driving through puddles.

Other potential offences include wheel-spinning and handbrake turns, barging into a queue of traffic and 'undertaking' by passing another car on the inside.

The first person to actually be prosecuted under the new laws was a West Yorkshire driver, who was fined almost £1,000 and given five penalty points last summer for hogging the middle lane of the motorway.

Lesser offenders can be slapped with an on-the-spot fine or ordered to take an awareness course similar to those for drink-driving and speeding.

AA Backs Roadhogs and Tailgaters Fines

Top ten UK car crime hotspots

Top ten UK car crime hotspots