Middle lane hogging is one of the biggest bugbears for west London drivers , yet despite admitting the offence it is rarely penalised, according to new research.
The research states: "The number of drivers committing these dangerous offences is not surprising given that the research shows two thirds (66%) of UK drivers are unaware that these offences are punishable by at least three points on your licence and a £100 fine."
A Freedom of Information request sent to 45 police forces across the UK found that in 2016 only 2,012 drivers fell foul of the “careless driving” law.*
Careless driving includes offences such as tailgating, middle lane hogging, undertaking and driving too slowly, the research states.
Data for "careless driving" in the city of London was provided for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In 2014, 73 fixed penalties / summons were issued for driving without due care and attention.
2015, 112 fixed penalties / summons were issued for driving without due care and attention.
2016, 177 fixed penalties / summons were issued for driving without due care and attention.
Amanda Stretton, from Confused.com , said: “Unfortunately, lane offences are difficult crimes to catch in the act.
“Tailgating and middle lane hogging are not only punishable with points and a fine, but can increase your car insurance premiums in an already expensive time for motoring."
The research by Confused.com went on to reveal that more than 1/3 (37%) of middle lane hoggers admitted they committed the offence because it "makes their drive easier and saves changing lanes".
The research adds: "While a further one in three (33%) say they drive in the middle lane because it feels safer.
"Meanwhile, known tailgaters blame other drivers for their actions, with almost two thirds (63%) saying they often do it because other drivers are going too slow."
The research found that 49% of drivers believe more needs to be done to educate drivers about the correct lane usage, and a third (36%) think more needs to be done to tackle lane offenders.
It adds: "This is not surprising given tailgating it is the biggest annoyance cited by drivers on the motorway (22%), with one in four (25%) saying they find themselves being tailgated at least once a week.
"Middle-lane hogging followed as the second most annoying behaviour by motorists on motorways (17%)."
Research was an obtained by an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive conducted between April 3 and April 5 2018.
*Of the 45 police forces contacted by Confused.com in the Freedom of Information request, only 16 replied with the data.