EVERY motorist knows that driving too fast could land them in trouble – whether that’s a fine, penalty points, or a telling-off at the roadside.
But driving too slowly can pose both a hazard and an inconvenience to other road users too.
Travelling below the speed limit is no guarantee that you’re driving safely, nor does it mean you can’t get fined or prosecuted.
Is it illegal to drive too slowly?
Each year, motorists driving too slowly cause crashes and accidents that lead to damage, injuries and even loss of life.
Police can stop drivers who they think are posing a risk to people around them by moving too slowly on the road.
There is no specific law that bans driving slowly, but doing so could count as “driving without due care and attention” in certain circumstances.
This is an offence that carries significant fines of up to £5,000, as well as between three and nine penalty points.
It is unlikely that people driving slowly will be given the top penalty, however.
This low-level careless driving is more often dealt with at the road side, either with advice or a fixed-penalty notice of a £100 fine and three points.
What is the minimum speed limit?
The UK does not have a blanket minimum speed limit that applies to all roads.
Specific roads have minimum speed limits, but these are very rare.
On the few roads that do have minimum speed limits, the lowest speed you are expected to travel at is shown as a white number on a blue circle.
You should travel at or above this speed if it is safe to do so.
These rules mostly exist around tunnels and bridges to keep traffic moving smoothly.
The same sign with a diagonal line through the number marks the end of the minimum speed limit.
Is there a minimum speed limit on the motorway?
There is no minimum speed limit on the motorway, unless marked by the blue mandatory minimum signs.
But that doesn’t mean you can safely or legally drive at 10mph when everyone else is doing 70mph.
Drivers who pose a hazard to other road users risk being pulled over, and either fined or prosecuted depending on the severity of the offence.
What if I drive too slowly in the middle lane?
Lanes on the motorway are a source of confusion for many drivers.
There is no such thing as a “slow” or “fast” lane. Motorists should drive in the leftmost lane, or lane one, unless they are overtaking.
Rule 264 of the Highway Code states that you should travel in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.
If you travel in lanes two and three when you are not overtaking, you could get fined £100 and receive three penalty points.
You could need to attend a driver awareness course.
It has been illegal to drive in the middle lane when not overtaking since 2013.
Can I report someone driving too slowly?
If you notice someone driving dangerously or carelessly, you may want to report the motorist to the police.
You can report dangerous or careless driving directly to your local police force.
To do this, you will normally need to upload video evidence, as well as providing the alleged offender’s number plate and details of independent witnesses.
You may also need to be willing to attend court to give evidence.
If someone’s driving is so dangerous that they pose an immediate threat to the safety of themselves or others, you should call 999.
For more information, check your local police force website.
Is it dangerous to drive too slowly?
Roughly 1,700 people die on British roads every year, with many of these tragedies attributed to excess speed.
But while less common, slow drivers have been the cause of a number of fatal accidents, as well as many more injuries.
Driving more slowly than other drivers might expect could put you at greater risk of becoming involved in an accident.
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