Drivers who hog the middle lane of the motorway could be hit with £100 fines as part of a raft of new measures announced by the Department for Transport.

From next month, police will be able to issue on-the-spot fines and three penalty points for careless driving, rather than sending the matter to court.

Fines are increasing to £100 for not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, driving while using a mobile phone and running a red light.

Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

Transport minister Stephen Hammond said: “Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk.

“That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.

“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.

Edmund King, AA President said: “It is worrying that three quarters of drivers see others using mobile phones behind the wheel on some or most journeys.

“This epidemic of hand held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members have demanded action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use.

“We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport ACPO lead on roads policing said: “The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them.

“These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated.”

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