Middle-lane hoggers and tail-gaters face on-the-spot fines and penalty points on their licence under new measures rolled out on Friday.

Police will be able issue ??100 fines and three points for a range of motoring offences which previously went unpunished due to the resources needed to take offenders to court.

Motorists can still be taken to court for more serious offences where they face much higher fines and penalties.

Police are expected to punish motorists who tail-gate, push into traffic queues, show poor lane etiquette and those who perform wheel-spins and handbrake turns.

"Careless driving puts innocent people's lives at risk," said Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

"That is why we have made it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice for low-level offending rather than taking these offenders to court."

The AA welcomed the proposals but warned that a third of motorists could be hit with penalties for hogging the middle lane.

"We are pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers - tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle-lane hogs," said AA president Edmund King.

...,/.,