First of all, yes, I have been watching re-runs of Catchphrase on Challenge TV, but following my most recent quiz-a-thon, I flicked over to watch the news and was greeted by the story relating to the Department for Transport had decided to hand out £100 fines to people who ‘hog’ the middle lane.
Firstly, whilst I am sure such a ridiculous ‘law’ would be a nightmare to police, what struck me is how much I drive in the middle lane, but don’t consider myself a ‘hog’ in any sense of the word… what the DfT have failed to realise here is that I don’t drive in the middle lane because I am a 26 year old scallywag, but because the left hand lane of the M1 [Insert your local stretch of motorway here] is akin to the experience you would pay good money for on a Land Rover off road experience day.
You see, I am a Steady Eddie when it comes to tramming along the UK’s highways in my Citroen C2 – largely because it has about as much power as a Primark Hairdryer – but when I am driving to work in a morning, I have to sit in the middle lane of the M1 from junction 43 all the way to 47, because otherwise, my travel coffee mug would jump right out of its holder and my caffeine would be soaked up by my worn grey car mats, and not my bloodstream.; which is probably worse than the £100 fine.
What I am getting here is a bit of the chicken and egg syndrome; will the DfT fix the potholes on our motorways with all the cash they fine motorists for cruising about in the middle lane whilst only overtaking the odd Eddie Stobart wagon or should they fix them first instead of forcing me to hold up that bigwig in his Mercedes who relentlessly flashes his lights at me to get out of the way – seemingly unaware of the empty lane to his right?
Yes, I know there are loads of holes and whatnot that need fixing on your every day trip to Asda, but what I’m talking about here are motorways with vehicles travelling at speed, surely an undulating surface isn’t exactly safe – so why punish folk for choosing not to feel as though they are riding a horse to work?
Quite rightly, the AA has warned that, according to a survey, up to one in three drivers could be caught out hogging the middle lane, depending on the police’s interpretation of the law. I presume then, that if a driver is in the middle lane, doing 70mph, and someone is ‘forced’ to overtake them in the outside lane at 75mph+ the police will stop both cars, as the second driver would have been speeding?
Anyway, I think we’re pretty safe in Yorkshire at the moment, as it seems the DfT are far too preoccupied with putting 50mph zones along the motorways, and making sure anyone who drives along the M62 has a 90% chance of being late for work.