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Motorway mayhem

Auto Express has found that there were just under 18,000 offences committed on motorways from 2016 to the end of May 2021. The offences are based on data provided by 28 out of 43 police forces. The most common offence was stopping, unnecessarily so, on the hard shoulder. 

The offences only include incidents where drivers were prosecuted, with many not facing consequences because of our stretched police forces. 

The President of the AA stated: “We know that millions of other offences, such as tailgating and middle lane hogging, go undetected. So while cameras may pick up the extreme speeders, we still need more cops in cars to target the texting, tailgating and the last-minute exit-swooping drivers".

Shockingly, there were 165 incidents of criminal offences where drivers were driving the wrong way on the motorway. There were also 304 incidents of criminal offences where drivers had stopped in a live lane on a motorway. 

The investigation calls for the focus to move on to driver behaviour, noting that their has been a lot of discussion about the increase of smart motorways. 

As a result of human error, lives can be lost or changed. This can take a split second. In addition to criminal sanctions, drivers committing serious offences run the risk of their insurer voiding the coverage. 

Unfortunately, based on my own personal experience, I frequently witness drivers taking unnecessary risks and committing criminal offences. 

The motorway can be a daunting place. Tailgating, undertaking, sharp braking, no indicating, and using a mobile phone are very common. 

What is clear is that driving a vehicle should not a privilege rather than an absolute right. If that privilege is abused, it should be removed. 

Harsh enforcement acts as a deterrent. In my professional work, the most frequent causes of serious incidents tend to be a loss of concentration, intentional dangerous driving, or using a mobile phone when driving. 

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in helping people following road accidents at our dedicated serious injury section.

An investigation by motoring title Auto Express found almost 18,000 motorway-specific rule infringements were recorded between the start of 2016 and the end of May this year, based on statistics provided by police forces across the country.”