Road hogs are 'wasting' 700 miles of motorway

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The Independent Online

Seven hundred miles of motorway are being "lost" due to drivers' poor lane discipline. The "middle-lane hogs" and the "outside-lane blockers" are wasting up to a third of motorway capacity in peak periods, according to research from the RAC Foundation.

Seven hundred miles of motorway are being "lost" due to drivers' poor lane discipline. The "middle-lane hogs" and the "outside-lane blockers" are wasting up to a third of motorway capacity in peak periods, according to research from the RAC Foundation.

The foundation said police have the power to pull over motorists for poor lane discipline and can prosecute in certain circumstances. But a decrease in traffic police means many motorists "are left to get away with their selfish lane-hogging behaviour."

Its survey also revealed that "phantom traffic jams" were caused by red-light braking. Often, poor lane discipline leads to vehicles tailgating. Any slight incident, such as a car changing lanes or leaving the motorway, can force a tailgating motorist to hit the brakes hard.

This can produce a brake-light domino effect, with all subsequent cars braking hard until they eventually come to a standstill. This creates a phantom traffic jam where there is no accident or hold-up other than that caused by braking.

The RAC's executive director, Edmund King, said: "The middle-lane hog and outside-lane blocker are selfish drivers wasting one third of our motorway capacity. If we can encourage them to practise better lane discipline it would be equivalent to adding 700 miles of motorway capacity."

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