Convicted middle lane hogger claims police picked him because he's a 'white van man'

Ian Stephen was returning home from visiting family in Leeds on the M62 in August 2013 when police caught him

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The Independent Online

A British motorist fined almost £1000 by police for hogging a motorway’s middle lane has claimed officers simply picked him because he was “a white van man”.

Ian Stephens, 42, was pulled over after police claimed his driving in his white Citroen Berlingo was causing other motorists to swerve and that he had missed several opportunities to use the inside lane.

But Mr Stephens, who was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £440 after being convicted of careless driving, told the Daily Mail that he was only one of many using the middle lane and claimed that the costs were “extortionate”.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw a police car tuck in behind me and turn on his lights. I pulled over but was shocked when he told me he thought I should have pulled over into the inside lane.”

He continued that the charge, which he is contesting, was a “complete over-reaction” from police and that he was “being treated like a common criminal.”

“I think the officers were simply trying to raise their tally for the day and saw a white van man and decided to nail me simply because they could,” he added.

Decorator Mr Stephens, who works with his 19-year-old son in and around Wigan, was caught by police in August 2013 – when the new rules had only been in place for a few days – travelling home on Yorkshire’s M62 from visiting family in Leeds.

Officers have the power to hand out a £90 ‘on-the-spot’ fine, as well as three penalty points to motorists hogging the middle lane, driving too close to another vehicle, or using the wrong lane in a roundabout.