Source: Driver Trainer

National Highways launches ‘Little Changes’ road safety campaign to tackle ‘middle lane hogging’

The aim of National Highways’ latest road safety campaign, “Little changes, change everything,” is to alter potentially hazardous driving behaviours among drivers.

To “transform their own journeys and those of fellow road users,” is the campaign’s stated goal.

The government agency said as part of the campaign that road safety is the “number one priority” and that by the end of 2025, they hope to have at least halved the number of fatalities and serious injuries on roads.

They also revealed that the longer-term target is to achieve a ‘zero-harm network’.

The campaign’s first wave began in March, and its current second wave will run through June 1st, 2024.

The goal of National Highways is to increase public awareness of two driving habits that can have a significant impact.

The first is that when the road permits, cars ought to use the left-hand lane. Second, motorists ought to maintain a minimum of two seconds’ distance between themselves and the car in front of them.

Goals of the Little Changes, Change Everything campaign

National Highways wants fewer vehicles to “hog” the middle lane and follow too closely in an effort to lower the number of casualties and fatalities on UK roads.

The campaign states: “By keeping left and staying at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front, you can help to reduce congestion and collisions.”

Middle lane hogging

The first target of the campaign is aimed at drivers who unnecessarily stay in the middle lane.

Drivers should always drive in the left-hand lane when the traffic permits.

This is due to the fact that the centre lane ought to be utilised for passing, allowing vehicles to enter the road, and in situations where the left lane cannot be driven.

When it’s safe to do so, cars should move back into the left-hand lane after passing.

Middle-lane hogging can cause traffic disruptions and congestion, which can be detrimental to the road network.

Close following

The second goal of the ‘Little Changes, Change Everything campaign’ looks to target drivers who are travelling too close to the vehicle in front of them.

According to the Highway Code, when driving on high-speed routes and in tunnels with limited vision, one should “allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front.”

The two seconds, according to National Highways, consist of the reaction and braking times in situations where they are necessary.

That time needs to be doubled when it is raining or in challenging conditions.

RAC road safety spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Middle lane hogging and tailgating aren’t just irritating driving habits; both are illegal and dangerous, which is why we’re in full support of National Highways’ campaign.

“Drivers that trail the car in front leave themselves no time to react if the vehicle ahead brakes suddenly, while those that hog the middle lane prevent others from overtaking which can cause longer queues of traffic.

“Penalties for middle lane hogging and tailgating have been in place for more than 10 years, yet both are unfortunately still a common sight on our fastest roads. While education can clearly be beneficial, more enforcement would send the strongest possible message that this behaviour isn’t acceptable.

“The Highway Code is clear that you should drive in the in the left-hand lane unless overtaking and leave at least a two-second gap between you and the car in front. These times should be doubled in bad weather.”