Most drivers have experienced it: you look in your mirror and there’s a car sitting just feet behind you at speed, usually trying to get you to move over and let them pass.
The practice, known as tailgating, is not only intimidating and aggressive, but dangerous too – last year it was listed as the cause in almost 600 serious accidents, 28 of which resulted in someone being killed.
Now almost 90% of motorists have said they support plans to fine fellow drivers for tailgating on the motorway, according to a new poll by independent car retailer Motorpoint.
The company’s online survey revealed that 87% of more than 1,600 drivers questioned, backed proposals for drivers to be fined £100 and given three points on their driving licence if convicted of tailgating on the motorway.
The government has recently been trialling new technology on parts of the M1 motorway in Northamptonshire that detects whether drivers are maintaining a minimum of a two-second safety gap between them and the vehicle in front. During the tests late last year, more than 26,000 people were found to be inside this margin.
“Tailgating has become commonplace on our roads in recent years and we are delighted to see the government finally taking action to address something that can quite literally cost people their lives,” says Mark Carpenter, chief executive officer of Motorpoint.
“The issue of tailgating extends far beyond just motorways, and this step won’t solve the problem overnight, but at least it is a move in the right direction.”