On night about 1a.m. I pulled off the A1 and on to the M18, there in the distance I see some clown in the middle lane of an otherwise empty motorway.
As I arrived at a "little" over the prescribed speed, I gave a quick flash of the lights from lane 1, then again from lane 2 before overtaking and moving back to lane 1.
During this "at speed" manoeuvre I'd noticed another set of lights some distance behind, as they approached said moron, they also follwed the first two steps. Step 3 however was some pretty flashing blue lights. Genuine LOL moment
Sigh, I may as well attract some downvotes.
1) An (otherwise empty) motorway with a middle lane has a WHOLE LANE in which you can overtake said 'clown'. What is your problem?
2) If said 'clown' is already travelling at the motorway speed limit, you are in breach of the law in overtaking. Most people don't care, regarding speeding as somehow macho. Any fool can speed*.
3) The quality of many British motorways is dire, especially in lane 1, which has rutted pits/tracks worn into them by the HGVs (You are also liable to find all sorts of things in lane 1 that have dropped off HGVs, including bricks from between the tyres of tippers that have come off demolition sites, delaminated HGV tyres and items of inadequately secured loads). Driving at speed is more comfortable and less distracting on the less used pavement. If it is raining ( a whole new ballgame ), even better not to be driving through the continuous puddle in the rut.
4) Unless you have unusual (and probably illegal) headlights, you cannot see within your stopping distance** on unlit motorways when driving at the maximum speed limit***. This means that if there is anything on the hard-shoulder (where it exists) that might impinge on lane 1, you won't see it until until you are too late to stop, and might be forced to take avoiding action. Not a problem on an otherwise empty motorway, but good driving minimises risks both to yourself and to others, especially the poor sods stuck at night on the hard shoulder without lights.***
5) I will give you one point: a good driver should have seen you coming and moved over into lane 1 and moved back out again after you passed. (This is what I do).
I am not a perfect driver, so hopefully not preaching from a sanctimonious pedestal. I have had four accidents: one due to passenger distraction, two due to the other driver driving into me (rear-ended at traffic lights; other driver pulled out from side-road into my wing; and one stupid low speed damage to an alloy wheel in an unfamiliar car and an unfamiliar petrol station with high metal kerbs around the pumps)
*When I was younger and more foolish and the M40 had just been opened, I had some joyous runs between London and Manchester in the early mornings/late evenings, so I'm not immune to the speed bug. I can't pretend what I did was justified, or safe. But it was fun. A colleague of mine had a ZZR1100 and gave it up as he found it too difficult to remain legal (pulling wheelies past police cars on the M4 is not advisable). I'm older now, and more cognisant of my limitations (and the limitations of others). Track days at Brands Hatch convinced me I was not God's gift to driving. Some people are naturally very good drivers. I have been privileged to know several, and understand very well I am not one of them, so I drive very defensively.
**Minor anecdote: I do not want to repeat the experience of coming to a safe halt on lane 1 of the M4 in fog and hearing the impacts of cars barrelling past me in lane 2 as they hit the pile up in front of me. It was a sphincter-tightening (or maybe loosening) moment wondering if someone was going to rear end me, until enough cars had come to a halt behind me. The pile-up was big enough to get onto national news.
***It's actually marginal for the average car. The 'average family car' has a stopping distance on dry roads at 70 mph of roughly 96 metres (call it 100). Road legal headlights will give enough light to illuminate somewhere between 50 and 100 metres ahead of you. You can buy after-market halogen and LED bulbs that have higher (not road legal ) output. Driving at night is unlikely to be the physiologically optimum time, so your reaction time is likely to be increased. Of course, the majority of drivers somewhat statistically improbably regard themselves as 'above average', so their performance car will stop in a shorter distance and their razor-sharp reactions further decrease the stopping distance, so they can safely drive at 80 (average car + average driver stopping distance roughly 120 metres) or 90 (average car + average driver stopping distance roughly 150 metres). Frankly, if you are that good, please use your skills to compensate for the deficiencies of others. If you are lucky, you too will experience ageing, and all that goes with it.