The ‘middle-lane drivers’ have been capturing the attention of police and other motorists for the past few months since the laws in the UK changed for motorway driving. The Highway Code Rule 264 states that all drivers must keep to the left-hand lane when not overtaking. This means all drivers of all vehicles should be in lane one unless they are passing slower vehicles. Motorways are the safest roads in Britain and are an excellent way of covering long distances quickly.
Here are a few tips to stay safe and stay out of trouble.
Motorways can have two, three or even four lanes. When travelling on two-lane motorways ensure that you keep to the left-hand lane for normal driving. You can use the right-hand lane for overtaking vehicles that are going at a slower speed. Once you have finished overtaking, you should move back in to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so. Remember, large goods vehicles are permitted to use either lane on a two-lane motorway.
When travelling on three-lane motorways you should always stay in the left-hand lane unless you need to overtake slower moving vehicles. To do this, use the middle lane. Again, once it is safe to do so, move back in to the left-hand lane and continue at a steady speed. If you need to overtake several vehicles then you are okay to stay in the middle lane, but please be wary of vehicles going at a much quicker speed, it may be safer to pop back in to the left-hand lane while they pass. You should only use the outer lane to overtake slower moving vehicles when the left-hand and middle lanes are occupied with slower moving traffic.
When in either the middle or outer lanes, you must be prepared to move over, to the left or middle lanes, to let faster moving vehicles pass.
Large and heavy vehicles including buses, coaches, lorries and cars towing caravans or trailers are not permitted to use the outer lane so if such a vehicle approaches you from behind whilst you're in the middle lane make sure you pull into the left-hand lane, when safe to do so, so that you don't block the vehicles progress.