Have you been slowed down by a 'Sunday' driver?

Sunday Drivers are defined as those who drive a car at a slow or leisurely pace. They are often chastised for driving too slowly or poorly and, not to be confused, they are not only on the road on Sundays!

Many of us who have been stuck behind a ‘Sunday driver’ on a commute to work or on a country lane often get marginally frustrated by their seemingly lack of awareness for those around them and their lack of urgency.

For those fleet drivers who are on the road for hours during the day or night, ‘Sunday drivers’ can be a real nuisance and can affect the length of time spent on the road.

It is not just a nuisance though; in fact driving too slowly is actually illegal. Although not enforced thoroughly, it is still against the law to drive too slowly against a particular roads’ speed limit. We take a look at the penalties for driving too slowly, below.

Although there is no minimum speed limit on the majority of roads in the UK, drivers can still be fined for driving too slowly if it is seen that they are a hazard to other road users.

The penalty for driving too slowly is not consistent across the board. Penalties can come in the form of a verbal warning from a police officer which would be accompanied by a lecture about the dangers of driving too slowly. In a serious case, where the driver in question was posing a danger to others by driving too slowly, penalties can be charged such as ‘driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users’ (code CD30). A trip to court may also be in order for this kind of offence. This penalty, CD30 also comes with penalty points on a drivers’ license. This can be anything from 3 to 9 points and will also come with a fine.

Penalty points can stay on a motorists licence for four years from the date of the offence and are likely to seriously impact the cost of car insurance and whether a company will continue to or begin a contract of employment with someone who has more penalty points. This can be especially true in a company where the main responsibilities of the employee involve driving regularly.  

A driver can be penalised for driving too slowly in the following circumstances which are considered to be dangerous;

  • If on a high speed road, such as a motorway, dual carriageway or higher speed A-road, driving too slowly can actually make the driver in question a hazard to other road users.
  • Drivers can also be penalised for driving too slowly whilst ‘hogging’ the centre lane on a motorway.

In recent weeks, the first case of a driver being fined for lane ‘hogging’ took place since the law was changed in 2013. The Government introduced on the spot fines of £100 in an effort to deter drivers from sitting in the middle lane when there was an opportunity to pull into the left hand carriageway. The van driver in question for lane ‘hogging’ was convicted in court, fined almost £1000 and had five penalty points added to his driving licence.

Avoiding ‘Sunday drivers’ altogether would be near on impossible, there will always be drivers who are ‘overly cautious’ or under confident on the roads which reflects in their speed. The best way to deal with slow drivers is to be patient and remember that although their driving may be of danger to others, evasive or intimidating driving behaviour is no doubt going to cause more harm than good and can be even more dangerous than the slow driver.