National Highways Launches New Road Safety Campaign

National Highways has officially launched a new road safety campaign called ‘Little Changes, Change Everything’. The campaign aims to identify and change dangerous behaviours displayed by drivers when they’re behind the wheel.

Committed to Safety

National Highways has demonstrated on multiple occasions how important safety is. Their aim is to halve the number of people injured or killed on roads by the end of 2025. The agency's long-term goal is to have a ‘zero-harm network’—presumably a Britain with no traffic accidents. The campaign has been active since March, and the second phase finished at the start of June.

Targeting Big Issues

The campaign aims to target two driving behaviours that should be implemented. The first behaviour is always driving in the left-hand lane when possible, and the second is leaving a two-second gap between vehicles.

As such, the campaign looks to cut the number of injuries and deaths which happen due to ‘hogging’ the middle lane and following vehicles too closely. The campaign comes with a simple message:

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

Left Lane Driving

The first part of the campaign is designed to target drivers who stay in the middle lane without good reason. Drivers should always use the left-hand lane where possible. Technically speaking, the middle lane is reserved for overtaking, letting traffic join the road, or for use in situations where the left-hand lane is unsuitable.

Hogging the middle lane can hurt the road network, disrupting traffic flow and congesting the lanes.

Close Tailgating

The other main goal of the campaign is to target drivers travelling too close to other vehicles - a practice known as tailgating. The Highway Code is clear when it says that drivers need to ‘allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on high-speed roads and in tunnels where visibility is reduced’.

National Highways point out that the two-second rule is designed to allow drivers to react to situations as necessary. It also reminds drivers that this needs to be doubled to four seconds in challenging conditions like heavy rain or snow.

Support From Big Groups

Rod Dennis, an RAC road safety spokesman, has this to offer on the subject:

“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 traffic queues.

Penalties for middle lane hogging and tailgating have been in place for more than ten 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 clearly states that you should drive in the left-hand lane unless overtaking and leaving at least a two-second gap between you and the car in front. These times should be doubled in bad weather.”