New campaign targets middle-lane hogging and tailgating

Middle lane
Middle lane

The campaign is set to run on TV, social media, and radio

National Highways has launched a campaign aimed at motorists who sit in the middle lane on motorways.

The campaign, called 'Little changes, little everything', was set up in response to a survey conducted by England's roads authority involving 2500 people aged between 16 and 75. It found that 32% of drivers admitted to lane hogging "occasionally" and 5% said they "always" do it.

The campaign urges motorists to stay in the left-hand lane when conditions allow and makes reference to rule 264 of the Highway Code, which states: "Staying in a middle lane disrupts traffic flow and can be dangerous, causing congestion and increasing the risk of a collision."


In addition, it says motorists should keep at least two seconds behind the car in front. In bad weather or when towing a trailer, the gap should be four seconds.

Set to run on TV, social media and radio, the campaign also highlights the dangers of tailgating, which was covered in the survey.

It found that more than a fifth of motorists say they tailgate other drivers and that tailgating is a contributing factor in an eighth of motorway collisions.

National Highways director of road safety Sheena Hague said: “Bad habits can make driving on our motorways a challenging experience, as those who lane hog or tailgate frustrate other drivers and make them feel unsafe. Both are dangerous and can cause accidents.

“Our campaign aims to motivate motorists to embrace little changes, which will have an overall positive effect on both them and their fellow road users, reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing."

National Highways also found that 34% of respondents said poor lane discipline causes them to become frustrated, while 67% said tailgating is a serious problem on UK roads.

RAC road safety spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “Simply put, middle-lane hogging and tailgating are far more than mere annoyances for drivers. These actions put everyone on the roads at risk. The fact nearly one in four drivers surveyed admit to doing so on some of England’s fastest and busiest roads is frightening.

“Some offenders might find these habits hard to kick, which is why this campaign is so important."

Both lane-hogging and tailgating carry a fine of £100 and three penalty points on the offender's licence.

The Department for Transport found that in 2022, 198 people were killed and 6730 people were seriously injured in crashes where tailgating was a factor. Overall in 2023, 1633 people were killed in accidents on UK roads, with 133,443 casualties reported, and the vast majority of accident involved cars.