New rules to stop roadhogs come into force

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Drivers who hog the middle lane or tailgate other motorists face an on-the-spot fine as part of a new crackdown on bad driving.

The fines are part of changes giving road policing teams across the country powers to issue penalty notices for £100 and add three points to drivers’ licences.

The most serious examples of bad driving will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.

As part of the changes, the level of fines for some existing offences, including speeding, will also rise.

Drivers using a mobile phone at the wheel will now be fined £100.

Police will also be able to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement.

Stephen Hammon, road safety minister, said: “Careless driving puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we have made it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed-penalty notice for low-level offending rather than taking these offenders to court.

“We have also increased penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.”

Non-endorsable fines, where the driver does not receive points on their licence, for offences including failing to give way and misuse of headlights will also increase from £30 to £50 under the new laws.

Chief Inspector Mark Bownass, of West Yorkshire Police, said there would be no change to how roads across the county were policed as a result of the changes.

He said: “The new fixed penalties provide officers with a toolkit which allows them to deal with the offence based upon their perception, right through from a fixed penalty ticket to a traffic offence report.”