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Echo News

OAP drove more than seven miles the wrong way along the M27

By Emma Streatfield

7:46am Tuesday 12th February 2013

High-speed terror drive on motorway - the WRONG way

AN elderly motorist went on a high-speed terror drive the wrong way along one of Hampshire’s busiest motorways.

The pensioner drove about seven-and- a-half-miles against oncoming traffic along the M27.

Police were alerted when a blue Peugeot 207, driven by a man in his 70s, was spotted near junction eight of the M27 travelling westbound in the fast lane of the eastbound carriageway in the early hours of yesterday.

The drama happened just after 3am. Traffic officers took up to ten minutes to stop the driver, who was going at speed, near Rownhams services.

Police received “numerous calls” from members of the public, though no one was injured.

Officers from the Totton Roads Policing Unit managed to stop the traffic going in the correct direction by creating a road block.

They drove alongside the driver on the right side of the carriageway to get the car to stop – although their first attempt failed.

Although there were no reports of near misses, police said it was lucky that it had been the early hours of the morning otherwise the incident could have been more serious.

Police said they had spoken to the man and after evaluation of the circumstances no further action would be taken. It is believed the driver was in a confused state.

David Cox, 27, of Bishopstoke, was driving towards Brighton.

He told the Daily Echo: “I noticed a car on the opposite side of the motorway flashing their lights at me and all of a sudden I saw a car heading towards me in the fast lane – I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“It shook me up as you don’t see this kind of thing every day.”

Another motorist tweeted police saying: “Any reason why there was a car driving the wrong way up the M27 this morning coming towards me? I was in shock at around 3am”.

The same person had tweeted on their own account: “That was scary – just had a car driving the wrong way up the motorway towards me.”

A police spokesman said: “It was just lucky it was in the early hours of the morning when the road was quite empty otherwise things could have been much worse.

“We’d like to thank those motorists who kept their heads and quickly called us to alert us to the danger.

This allowed us to put roadblocks in place and stop the vehicle bringing this unfortunate incident to an end without anyone getting hurt.”

Comments(36)

Comments(36)

hulla baloo says...
8:08am Tue 12 Feb 13

Fast lane? What is that?

userds5050 says...
8:12am Tue 12 Feb 13

Chris Huhne not been at it again?

wknight says...
8:26am Tue 12 Feb 13

Once again a person commits a serious motoring offence and the Police decide not to prosecute, he should be brought into court so they can decide if he is fit to drive.

sgj1992 says...
8:47am Tue 12 Feb 13

"no further action would be taken" Disgusting! £60 fine 3 points for speeding, Driving up the wrong side of a motorway is okay? state of shock is no excuse for reckless driving By no means is this acceptable Some form of action should be taken. if that was me (20 year old driver) I would have had my licence taken off of me.

gazdance says...
8:52am Tue 12 Feb 13

Once again!?

Normally people are moaning about the police "targeting" so-called "innocent" motorists.

I love how people assume that the Echo are privvy to all of the facts (as if) and think they know the circumstances.

There is clearly a reason no prosecution is forthcoming. All the article says is that no further action will be taken. Police action, that is. No mention of whether there is civil action by the DVLA.

Think about it, moaners!

sparkster says...
9:01am Tue 12 Feb 13

I definitely feel the chap should have a medical to see if he is fit to drive someone could have been killed, im not moaning just stating the obvious

sotonwinch09 says...
9:07am Tue 12 Feb 13

hulla baloo wrote:
Fast lane? What is that?
Not lane 1 or 2 but lane 3.

db_3 says...
9:15am Tue 12 Feb 13

This chap should certainly get points and a fine for serious traffic offences and an evaluation on being fit to drive.

elvisimo says...
9:16am Tue 12 Feb 13

gazdance wrote:
Once again!? Normally people are moaning about the police "targeting" so-called "innocent" motorists. I love how people assume that the Echo are privvy to all of the facts (as if) and think they know the circumstances. There is clearly a reason no prosecution is forthcoming. All the article says is that no further action will be taken. Police action, that is. No mention of whether there is civil action by the DVLA. Think about it, moaners!
You are correct they will in all likelyhood look to have his licese suspended by agreement. It is what they have done in similar circumstances.

All this article says is they are not prosecuting.

hulla baloo says...
9:20am Tue 12 Feb 13

sotonwinch09 wrote:
hulla baloo wrote:
Fast lane? What is that?
Not lane 1 or 2 but lane 3.
Not at all. All the lanes are the same speed, so there is no 'fast lane'
Inside, middle and outside lanes should be the correct wording.

SotonLad says...
9:28am Tue 12 Feb 13

wknight wrote:
Once again a person commits a serious motoring offence and the Police decide not to prosecute, he should be brought into court so they can decide if he is fit to drive.
I would suggest the driver volunteered to give up his driving licence. No need for expensive court proceedings for the same outcome.

Dresnez says...
9:46am Tue 12 Feb 13

There are some old people who shouldn't be driving. But don't tar all the elderly with the same brush. Some elderly people are very sharp indeed.

Much like all young people pay higher insurance because they are a high risk group, not all of them are stupid behind a wheel.

Doctors, GPs or family, if you know the older patients or members of your household have dementia, or are extremely confused then take them off the road. Tell their doctor or the police.

We all have a duty to make sure these people don't drive. You have to retake your driving test at 70yrs of age anyway.


I actually remember years ago and old guy in a nursing home who was telling me there was a slaughter house in the next room. Clearly he was confused. Yet his doctor decided he was safe to continue driving.

A morbidly obese middle aged business man and politician in Jersey was also allowed to keep his driving licence. I remember thinking he was a heart attack waiting to happen. He died at the wheel of his car on the Airport Road. Fortunately no other person was injured. He could have afforded to hire a chauffeur!

S!monOn says...
9:48am Tue 12 Feb 13

jade25 wrote:
People like this SHOULD NOT BE DRIVING!!!
So easy to say after an incident.....

Linesman says...
10:03am Tue 12 Feb 13

Dresnez wrote:
There are some old people who shouldn't be driving. But don't tar all the elderly with the same brush. Some elderly people are very sharp indeed.

Much like all young people pay higher insurance because they are a high risk group, not all of them are stupid behind a wheel.

Doctors, GPs or family, if you know the older patients or members of your household have dementia, or are extremely confused then take them off the road. Tell their doctor or the police.

We all have a duty to make sure these people don't drive. You have to retake your driving test at 70yrs of age anyway.


I actually remember years ago and old guy in a nursing home who was telling me there was a slaughter house in the next room. Clearly he was confused. Yet his doctor decided he was safe to continue driving.

A morbidly obese middle aged business man and politician in Jersey was also allowed to keep his driving licence. I remember thinking he was a heart attack waiting to happen. He died at the wheel of his car on the Airport Road. Fortunately no other person was injured. He could have afforded to hire a chauffeur!
You are correct.

I note that there was a news item today where a 19 year old drive, who was being pursued by the police, crashed his car and died.

Are those who think that all the elderly should give up their driving licences, also thinking that the age at which you can drive should raise?

My betting is that there are far more crashes, and reckless driving incidents involving young drivers than there are involving OAPs.

jade25 says...
10:05am Tue 12 Feb 13

S!monOn I have always said people over the age of 70 should have to re take a basic motor test... and have a sight test at that!

MGRA says...
10:05am Tue 12 Feb 13

statistically the most dangerous person behind the wheel of a car is a 19-22 year old chav in a lowered suspension and heavily accessorices corsa/clio/206 or similar.... those ar5eh0l3s are 20 times more likely to cause a serious accident than an old geezer who was probably sleep walking....

Ciaran says...
10:26am Tue 12 Feb 13

hulla baloo wrote:
Fast lane? What is that?
It's a colloquial term for lane three, aka the overtaking lane or outside lane.

In other words, everyone knows what it is so stop trying to be a pedant.

Mary80 says...
10:38am Tue 12 Feb 13

There are an equal number of bad drivers be it young'uns women or old people and i've seen bad driving from all these levels of people its not just young men and old people

Ginger_cyclist says...
10:43am Tue 12 Feb 13

MGRA wrote:
statistically the most dangerous person behind the wheel of a car is a 19-22 year old chav in a lowered suspension and heavily accessorices corsa/clio/206 or similar.... those ar5eh0l3s are 20 times more likely to cause a serious accident than an old geezer who was probably sleep walking....
Oh, you mean those stupid people who have played lots of games like Need for speed and think they can just suddenly get in a real car, turn it into what might as well be a race spec car and drive it like a maniac on the roads BUT not all drivers of such cars are dangerous, some just do such things to their car because they like to change stuff on cars but when they drive, they're some of the best drivers around, though that might be partly out of fear of causing damage to their car but the only problem I see with such cars is that the owners would have to slow right down to 2mph for sleeping policemen.

biggus2 says...
11:02am Tue 12 Feb 13

The trouble is politicians won't do anything about it neither will the secretary of state for Transport because its a "Hot Potato" and a "Vote Looser". It would be sensible to have an assessment around the age of 70 ish to make sure your are fit to be on the road. We do it with HGV Drivers every 5 years from the age of 45 so why not older drivers. Young drivers are easier to re educate or if you get 6 point s in the first 2 years you get your licence revoked until you retake your test.

sirrah69 says...
11:22am Tue 12 Feb 13

All you hot head do gooders, that so obviously stick to the road laws, making comments about justice & what should be done....fines, points, surrendering licence etc.....at what point did you think that maybe this person has a 'mental condition' and clearly wasn't aware of what he was doing. Yes there could have been some serious consequences, thankfully there wasn't, but this goes deeper than a 70 year person behind the wheel....this unfortunate circumstance could have easily happened to anyone with 'dementia', sadly this brain disease has no prejudices unlike some of you lot !!!!

ohec says...
11:30am Tue 12 Feb 13

Its not just an age problem my granddaughter has just passed her test and she lives in Dorset so has never driven on a motorway thankfully my daughter is a good driver and can instruct her on motorway driving,but what a ridicules situation when you can pass a test giving you free reign to drive on a type of road you have never been on.

seven777. says...
11:35am Tue 12 Feb 13

Motorway infrastructure is set up in such a way as to make it almost impossible to join the carriageway in the wrong direction. Its probably fair to say this older person was more than just confused.As sad as it is for the elderly to lose their mobility this person will have to give up driving but does not need a conviction because since he is unlikely to ever drive again it would not serve the public interest.

Micle1974 says...
11:46am Tue 12 Feb 13

Are they joking?? NFA?

Should have his license taken away!!

Block41row0sfc says...
12:16pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Maybe he's a frog

SaffaInTheUk says...
12:30pm Tue 12 Feb 13

I await all the "elderly people shouldn't drive" comments that will undoubtedly be posted here.

So, for the record, my grandfather in 81 and drives better than most instructors! Only had one major accident, and that was because of some 23 year old bloke in a Ford Puma on his phone while driving at great speeds. Rammed into the left rear passenger door and nearly caused my grandparents' car to flip over. Our car did a 360 degree spin too. That Rover was a good car dammit!

Either way, age doesn't matter when it comes to driving troubles. But I suspect that this goes deeper than age...

CharlieOxbridge says...
12:59pm Tue 12 Feb 13

wknight wrote:
Once again a person commits a serious motoring offence and the Police decide not to prosecute, he should be brought into court so they can decide if he is fit to drive.
Freemason...

kehoej01 says...
1:16pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Ciaran wrote:
hulla baloo wrote: Fast lane? What is that?
It's a colloquial term for lane three, aka the overtaking lane or outside lane. In other words, everyone knows what it is so stop trying to be a pedant.
Sorry Ciaran, I understand where you're coming from but I don't think Hulla Baloo was being pedantic. There really is no such thing as a 'fast lane' on motorways (or even dual carriageways) & the Echo should know. Unfortunately not everyone would appear to know this (from what I see every day on the motorways). There is a massive lack of knowledge out there about stuff like this which leaves drivers sat in lanes 2 & 3 of motorways (which are both overtaking lanes) when there is nothing on their inside to overtake. This then leads to tailbacks because other road users would rather not risk being pulled over for 'undertaking'.

This is a massive aside anyway & it is fortunate that this didn't turn into a more serious situation.

hedge end bob says...
2:29pm Tue 12 Feb 13

sotonwinch09 wrote:
hulla baloo wrote:
Fast lane? What is that?
Not lane 1 or 2 but lane 3.
Think your wrong,
inside lane...driving lane,
centre lane and outside lane.. overtaking lanes
all normal driving should be done on the inside lane.

SotonNorth says...
2:48pm Tue 12 Feb 13

That was not the only incident of this type yesterday. At about 7.35pm last night I spotted a Kia Picanto doing a three point turn on the southbound offslip at M3 Winchester services, as they realised they were about to head northbound onto the southbound carriageway. Traffic leaving for the services had to stop on the slip road whilst the driver performed their three point turn. Perhaps worse than that, the car behind the Kia appeared to have followed them the wrong way up the slip road, brainlessly copying their error. There's no excuse for this behaviour, some people are completely oblivious to what is outside their windows.

S!monOn says...
5:22pm Tue 12 Feb 13

sirrah69 wrote:
All you hot head do gooders, that so obviously stick to the road laws, making comments about justice & what should be done....fines, points, surrendering licence etc.....at what point did you think that maybe this person has a 'mental condition' and clearly wasn't aware of what he was doing. Yes there could have been some serious consequences, thankfully there wasn't, but this goes deeper than a 70 year person behind the wheel....this unfortunate circumstance could have easily happened to anyone with 'dementia', sadly this brain disease has no prejudices unlike some of you lot !!!!
It's alright everyone.... apparently he's a nutcase, same as the rest of us loonies on the road, so he can keep his licence and carry on driving.

solomum says...
6:26pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Has anyone thought about the possibility that this was a foreign driver who just made and honest mistake?

solomum says...
6:28pm Tue 12 Feb 13

solomum wrote:
Has anyone thought about the possibility that this was a foreign driver who just made and honest mistake?
an honest mistake. Whoops!

dolomiteman says...
8:15pm Tue 12 Feb 13

hedge end bob wrote:
sotonwinch09 wrote:
hulla baloo wrote:
Fast lane? What is that?
Not lane 1 or 2 but lane 3.
Think your wrong,
inside lane...driving lane,
centre lane and outside lane.. overtaking lanes
all normal driving should be done on the inside lane.
It is Lane one, lane two, lane three and sometimes lane four.

This is how the police refer to the lanes to avoid any confusion as some sections of motorways have two lanes, some have four.

Georgem says...
11:12pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Speaking as a typical Echo reader, I think he should be hanged, fined infinity billion pounds, made to work for his pension, have five thousand points on his licence and be banned from driving for his next six re-incarnations. Also, his entire family should be burned at the stake.

jonnyx says...
11:52pm Tue 12 Feb 13

you missed out the bit about him being an immigrant georgem (probably doing it for 'the compo').

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