Please don’t be a ‘Lane Hogger’ on the motorway

Posted in Connect on July 18, 2019.

The road safety offices of Mayo and Meath County Council is using the opportunity of thousands of supporters travelling to Croke Park this Sunday to highlight road safety.

A Previous AA survey of 20,000 motorists found that one in three could be caught out hogging the outside lane.

Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer, Mayo County Council, said: “Lane hogging causes congestion and inconvenience to other road users. It reduces the capacity of roads and motorways and can lead to dangerous situations where other drivers ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front to try and get the lane hogger to move over.

“Motorists are risking their own safety and the safety of other road users through their actions so we’d urge them to be aware of the other lanes and drivers around them when on the road. If the inside lane has space, you should move into it.

”Some drivers may unknowingly contribute to other motorists making sometimes fatal overtaking manoeuvres. This can be prevented by regularly checking your mirrors and being aware of what is behind your vehicle.”

Michael Finnegan, Road Safety Officer with Meath County Council, added; “Hogging the outside lane of a motorway causes inconvenience to other road users. This regularly leads to frustration and causes drivers to make dangerous manoeuvres,  and overtaking,  which can be a danger to all road users in vicinity.

“Another problem, and there have been instances of this, is that this outside lane hogging can lead to Road Rage in some cases, and when this does occur the consequences can be very serious. Many motorists unwittingly hog the middle and overtaking lanes of motorways, but should always move to the inside lane, if there is room, and it is safe to do so.”

If you’re reading this and find you may fit the profile of this type driver, please keep an eye on your mirror and pull in to allow traffic to pass when it’s safe to do so.

Some drivers believe, that if they drive on the hard shoulder where there is a broken yellow line that they are in breach of the rules of the road. However, if a driver wants to allow a vehicle behind them to overtake, they may pull in to the hard shoulder briefly as long as no pedestrians or cyclist are already using it and no junctions or entrances are nearby.

The county’s Road Safety Officer has insisted it is speeding motorists who cause deaths but would like to highlight the effect that slow moving vehicles can have on other road users.

Mr Gibbons said: “What they should endeavour to do is drive at the speed appropriate to the conditions, if they’re not comfortable in doing that, we’re not asking them to speed up, we’re asking them to give way to following vehicles. They must be aware of the tail of vehicles behind them and by ignoring that, they’re actually driving without due care and attention. The premise is simple, reduce the need to overtake, and it follows there would be less overtaking collisions. A previous report by the RSA showed some 6% of collisions were caused by improper overtaking. We are asking for common courtesy to be shown on our roads.”

According to Irish road traffic legislation, you must move back to the left lane following an overtake. Remaining in the overtake lane on the right will land you with one penalty point and a €60 fine.

  • Lane 1 – You should always use this lane for normal driving. Stay in this lane unless you are overtaking.
  • Lane 2 – You should only use this lane for overtaking. You must move back to lane 1 once you have finished overtaking and it is safe to do so. You can also move into lane 2 to allow vehicles coming from your left to join the motorway.
  • Lane 3 – You should only use this lane if traffic in lanes 1 and 2 is moving in queues and you need to overtake or make room for merging traffic. Again, you should move back to lane 1 as soon as it is safe to do so. When overtaking, only move between two lanes at a time. For example, to move from lane 1 to lane 3, first move into lane 2 and wait to move to lane 3 until it is safe to do so.
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