Know which lane to be in.

We've all been stuck behind someone on the motorway that doesn't know proper lane discipline, and now breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist has issued a reminder of the rules as certain stretches of Britain's motorway network prepare to have their speed limits reduced for a trial period in a bid to combat pollution.

In general, on three-lane motorways, lane one – that's the one on the left – should be the one used, with lanes two and three there for overtaking only.

GEM says that it's important to stay in lane one "unless there’s a line of slow traffic, in which case you can use lane two – and if necessary lane three – to overtake. But your aim should be to move back to lane one when you have completed the manoeuvre."


Of course, on smart motorways, there can be signs saying to stay in lane, in which case you should. These signs, illuminated during periods of high traffic, are there to stop drivers changing lanes whenever they see a quicker moving vehicle.

"When you adopt good motorway lane discipline, you can really do your bit to help the traffic flow," said GEM chief executive Neil Worth. "Dangerous lane hogging is inconsiderate, increases motorway congestion and can inconvenience other road users by forcing them to overtake across two lanes.

"All drivers should use lane one unless overtaking. When they have finished overtaking, they should return to the inside lane.

"Understanding and following the rules means the motorway lanes work more efficiently, drivers are at less risk and are also avoiding the risk of penalties and fines."