Traffic Enforcement Officers had a field day yesterday when a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on the M1 left 450 motorists at the mercy of the new tailgating law.
Commuters were left helpless as officers armed with tape measures walked from car to car, dishing out on-the-spot fines. A record 2,300 penalty points and over £7,000 worth of fines were issued in just 23 minutes between Northampton and Milton Keynes.
‘We were like sitting ducks’, said one motorist who unwittingly joined the gridlock after popping out for some milk. ‘It was a double whammy for me; I was in the middle lane when I joined the jam. I got an additional £100 and three points for lane hogging’, he added.
In a desperate bid to avoid the penalty, some motorists were frantically reversing to extend the gap between themselves and the cars in front. One bystander said ‘When one car reversed, the car behind was then classed as tailgating, meaning they had to reverse too, and so on. The whole traffic jam was creeping back the way it came – it was bizarre and very hilarious.’