Mid­dle-lane hog­ging sparks rage

Mid­dle-lane hog­gers are more than a mo­tor­way an­noy­ance, they’re a hazard. Gareth But­ter­field calls for com­mon sense

Gloucestershire Echo - - MOTORING NEWS -

I WAS on the M1 for a while the other day and, as is of­ten the case, couldn’t wait to get off it.

It wasn’t the traf­fic that was both­er­ing me, or the ridicu­lous stretch of com­pletely dys­func­tional “smart” mo­tor­way. Or, for that mat­ter, the miles and miles of “roadworks” which were com­pletely devoid of any­one do­ing any “work”.

The prob­lem I faced that day was a pro­lif­er­a­tion of mid­dle-lane hog­gers. It was so bad at a few points I hon­estly thought I was in dan­ger.

Hog­ging the mid­dle lane might not seem dan­ger­ous in it­self, but it’s the id­i­otic ac­tions it prompts peo­ple to take that re­ally cre­ate dan­ger.

At one point I’d been stuck be­hind a peo­ple car­rier who was com­pletely obliv­i­ous to what was go­ing on when sud­denly a guy in a BMW be­hind found it all a bit too much to bear.

Sud­denly, he stepped on it, de­tached him­self from the MPV’S bumper, threaded his way be­tween my bon­net and the back of the peo­ple car­rier in one vi­o­lent swerve and then sat for a mo­ment in lane one, right in front of me, al­most barg­ing the peo­ple car­rier into lane three.

Then he floored it again, sud­denly swerved in front of the prob­a­bly ter­ri­fied peo­ple in the Volk­swa­gen Sha­ran with inches to spare and hit his brakes to ham­mer home the point he’d been try­ing to make. Then he sped away again.

As much as I’d been sat sim­mer­ing with anger at the fact this MPV was be­ing id­i­otic and caus­ing prob­lems for the whole car­riage­way, there was ab­so­lutely no need for such a lu­di­crous bit of driv­ing by the BMW. And this, in case any­one’s won­der­ing, is why hog­ging the mid­dle lane is dan­ger­ous. It doesn’t just hold up the road and pro­voke peo­ple into over­tak­ing, it also sparks rage in volatile im­be­ciles who re­ally shouldn’t be on the road in the first place.

The fact these im­be­ciles ex­ist is a sad re­al­ity of life on the road - and they’re of­ten only re­moved from it when some­thing hor­ri­ble hap­pens.

So, please, don’t poke them with a stick. If you’ve fin­ished pass­ing what­ever was on lane one, get back into lane one.

There’s no need to be in the mid­dle lane un­less you’re over­tak­ing and you’ll foul up the whole sys­tem if you hang around.

Sadly, dur­ing the en­tire 200 miles of mo­tor­way I did that week­end, I didn’t see a sin­gle po­lice of­fi­cer. So mid­dle-lane hog­gers are pretty much free to go out about their ir­re­spon­si­ble busi­ness with no fear of reprisals. Mean­while idiots like the guy I watched in the BMW are tak­ing the law into their own hands and dish­ing out road-rage fu­elled “pun­ish­ments” that could cause huge ac­ci­dents.

If you can’t drive safely on mo­tor­ways, don’t get on them in the first place. It’ll be safer for all of us.

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