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to get really annoyed by middle lane drivers?

(121 Posts)
cherryade8 Sat 25-May-13 23:08:30

Drove to visit relatives today on the motorway. As usual, there were a few middle lane drivers on the motorway, who were overtaking no one other than an empty lane to the left of them. They cause tailbacks and prevent other drivers overtaking, especially when the second overtaking lane is full of cars trying to get past. Aibu to get really angry with these people?!

The middle lane is for overtaking ffs, not poodling along in whilst the lane to your left is empty sometimes I want to undertake them to demonstrate the lane they are not using in other countries, such as Australia, the police fine you if you're caught in the middle lane whilst not overtaking another vehicle, why don't the police do that here?

ShellyBoobs Sun 26-May-13 20:29:46


What you're describing sounds perfectly correct and is exactly what I would do, too.

If there's a long stream in lane 1 with gaps which you could only pull into for a few seconds, then yes, of course you should continue in lane 2 (or lane 3 if you're passing a stream in lane 2).

No one should be flashing anyone to pull in, or tailgating them, but I don't think that's the type of behaviour people on this thread are talking about.

hopipolla Sun 26-May-13 20:41:24

I do not understand how so many people are so ignorant of how to drive on the motorway, why on earth would think you can just cruise along in a lane designed for overtaking and justify it by saying that you are obeying the speed limit? confused

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 26-May-13 20:57:00

Very well put, dervel.

I was on the motorway today too and was shocked at all the middle lane pootlers, with nobody at all in the left hand lane to be overtaking. The most irritating/dangerous was a man driving at about 55 mph. Oh, and the man in an old fiesta who was weaving in and out really close to other drivers, myself included. Grr!

SauvignonBlanche Mon 27-May-13 21:39:27

I got stuck behind 2 right hand lane hoggers for miles today. The left and middle lanes were empty!
I was tempted to undertake in the deserted left hand lane, but didn't. Eventually they pulled over and DH noticed the driver of the second car was texting! shock

badbride Mon 27-May-13 21:54:15

I've always been a bit confused as to why undertaking is always a bad thing. Pulling in to the inside line specifically to undertake someone in the middle lane is clearly dangerous.

But what if the traffic in the inside lane happens to be doing 70, but the traffic in the middle is doing 50? If I'm in the inside lane and can't pull out (on account of middle lane being hogged by plonkers), what am I supposed to do? Surely I'd create more of a problem if I slowed to a crawl than if I just followed the traffic flow?

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 27-May-13 22:17:15

From a safety point of view, is there an issue with undertaking from the left lane if the middle lane is empty and the person you are undertaking is in the right lane? I know it's not allowed in the Highway Code but can't see that it would actually be unsafe.

MrsMook Mon 27-May-13 22:53:42

There are more blind spots to the left because of the driver position to the right. Also you are less likely to be expected to be undertaking because it is not legal.

I had lessons on the motorway when I did Pass Plus which were rather useful. I was advised to pull in when I can see the overtaken vehicle in my rear view mirror as that means they have been left with an appropriate stopping distance. I get hacked off when I'm about to indicate that I'm moving left into the gap to find that some moron (who doesn't understand the stopping distance concept given their proximity to my rear bumper) objects to the fact I've not pulled in within 6 inches of clearing the overtaken vehicle, is now undertaking me and preventing me from doing the correct action of pulling in.

On a busy motorway, I find it less stressy doing 60-70 in lanes 1-2 with a decent stopping distance than joining the line doing 80 bumper to bumper in lane 3. If people followed the keep left rule, it would save traffic bunching up so much.

justabigdisco Wed 05-Jun-13 03:51:04

Just thought I'd re-invigorate this thread with this article
Also to point out that the speed is really irrelevant. If you're not overtaking something, MOVE OVER.

justabigdisco Wed 05-Jun-13 12:38:50

Perhaps I'd have got more response had I not posted in the middle of the night... Damn insomnia shock

PinkyCheesy Wed 05-Jun-13 12:54:37

And I'd like to add that it is NOT ILLEGAL to drive at 70 in the left hand lane and be passing drivers going slower than you in the middle lane! This is NOT undertaking! The highway code says that if an adjacent lane to your right is travelling slower than you, then you may pass. Which means you DONT have to do 4 changing of lane manoevers, as described by several posters. Undertaking is when you are behind a slower driver and pull in to the left in order to pass him.

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 05-Jun-13 13:25:11

Thanks, Pinky; I was about to go and look up that rule, because I thought I might have misremembered it.

WineNot Wed 05-Jun-13 13:45:52

Pinky - is that right?

The Highway Codes says "stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left"

i.e. you can pass on the left but only if you're in a queue and the left hand lane is moving more quickly.

Begs the question - what defines a 'queue' and is there a speed above which you're not in a queue, but undertaking.

tobiasfunke Wed 05-Jun-13 13:55:59

We've just driven down to Portsmouth from Scotland and back again. On the way down during the day the lane discipline was pretty good although the motorways were busy. On the way back from Portsmouth to Birmingham on a Saturday evening it was absolutely atrocious. Fewer cars but much much worse driving. The number of middle lane hoggers going at 60 was unbelieveable. By that I mean people sitting in the middle lane when the inside lane was completely free. Lorries and caravans undertaking the said same middle lane hoggers.
We also saw at least 5 near misses of people nearly colliding when one pulled out from middle lane to fast lane and the fast lane driver was pulling in. Nobody seemed aware of anyone else.
DH and I were discussing it and we came to the conclusion that it was people who'd been down to the coast on a sunny day and pootling home who weren't usually motorway drivers.

lljkk Wed 05-Jun-13 14:32:57

Don't even have a concept of undertaking where I come from.
Middle Lane drivers don't annoy me.
Tailgaters do annoy me.

lljkk Wed 05-Jun-13 14:33:37

I am pretty sure that when it comes to it, most people define "Middle Lane drivers" as anyone who slows you down, for any reason.

SonOfAradia Wed 05-Jun-13 15:38:49

I am pretty sure that when it comes to it, most people define "Middle Lane drivers" as anyone who slows you down, for any reason.

No. Middle Lane drivers' are people who drive in the middle lane when they're not overtaking, when the Highway Code makes it abundantly clear that they should stay in the left lane.


lljkk Wed 05-Jun-13 16:25:49

How about this scenario,
in left lane, approach lorry
overtake lorry, allow for 2" gap to develop in front of lorry
pull into left lane for 2"
now right behind lorry2
use middle lane to over take lorry2, allow next 2" gap to develop
pull into left lane for 2" have now approached lorry 3
repeat as above

At what point do we say it's silly to keep pulling in for just two seconds each time, therefore it's reasonable to just stay in middle lane? I think some people expect every driver to pull over for those 2" stints in the far left lane every single time, and other people deem it silly. Hence, "the middle lane driver" is defacto any driver perceived to be in the way.

FobblyWoof Wed 05-Jun-13 16:35:30

YANBU at all!

These are the same people who accuse people who use the lanes correctly of weaving. No, it's just if yore in the middle sodding lane of course I have to change two lanes to overtake you and two lanes to get back to the slow lane!

It holds everyone up and forces a lot of other people into the middle lane because you don't want to overtake!

SonOfAradia Wed 05-Jun-13 17:12:28

At what point do we say it's silly to keep pulling in for just two seconds each time, therefore it's reasonable to just stay in middle lane?

I would be extremely silly to keep pulling over for 2 seconds and keep diving in and out of a stream of lorries.

If there's a stream of lorries that close together, then your overtaking manoeuvre includes the whole lot and it's reasonable to be in the middle lans to accomplish said manoeuvre. Anyone going faster than you can use the outside lane to go round you. Only a bellend with no patience and no driving skills themselves would expect you to pull in for 2 seconds and can be safely ignored.

Once you're past the lorry stream, go back into the left hand lane. If the lorry stream extends for 30 miles, then you're still overtaking it by dint of the fact you're going faster. Simple.

cherryade8 Wed 05-Jun-13 19:32:45

Hooray I've just seen in the news today that middle lane drivers who are not overtaking anyone will get an on the spot fine and three points on their licence grin

Madeleine10 Wed 05-Jun-13 22:02:13

Excellent news!

And tailgaters too - someone's been reading Mumsnet wink

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