Drivers who 'cross white line' on road face £2,500 fines

Drivers in rural areas of England have been warned they face a £2,500 fine for "straddling" white lines. Rule 129 of the Highway Code means drivers cannot cross a double white line - with motorists up and down the country warned as a result.

Motoring expert Graham Conway said: “You’re not Lewis Hamilton and you’re not in a race - and by choosing to ‘smooth out’ the bends, as it is sometimes described, you could be putting other road users at risk. If it’s a case of laziness, and that you can’t be bothered to turn the steering wheel to make sure your car stays in its lane through corners, then you need to sharpen your skills.”

He added that going the “long way round” a bend wastes fuel and makes the journey more uncomfortable for passengers, which is another argument that’s "hard to agree with.” Rule 129 of the Highway Code states: “Double white lines where the line nearer to you is solid.

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“This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph or less.”

Charity Brake UK warns: “Speed is often a major factor in rural road crashes. A study of single-carriageway rural roads estimated that a 10 per cent increase in average speed results in a 30 per cent increase in fatal and serious crashes.”

A recent Freedom of Information request found that almost 1,000 drivers were prosecuted for crossing unbroken double white lines each year. Solid white lines indicate that it's generally not safe to overtake. You'll tend to see these on sections of roads with blind bends or hills.