Province cracks down on left-lane hogs

New traffic rules coming in for drivers on multi-lane highways.

Drivers be warned—new regulations are coming into effect that allow RCMP to crack down on left-lane hogs on B.C.’s highways.

Effective Friday, June 12, drivers on multi-lane highways must stay to the right unless:

•Overtaking and passing another vehicle

•Moving left to allow traffic to merge

•Preparing for a left-hand turn

•Moving left to pass an official vehicle displaying a flashing light

Police can ticket drivers who should not be travelling in the left-most lane. The fine is $167, with three driver penalty points.

Another change will permit local governments to permit motorcycle parking within six metres of intersections with stop signs or signals, as long as drivers’ views are not impeded. This will allow more efficient use of space that is not large enough for a car.

“During the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review last year, I heard that one of the top driver frustrations across the province was being prevented from passing because someone won’t leave the left lane,” said Todd Stone, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We have strengthened the law to give police better tools to crack-down on left-lane hogs.”

While the police have the ability to hand out traffic tickets for left-lane abusers, there’s also some common sense under the legislation.

When traffic is minimal and no one is approaching from behind, a driver can travel in the left-most lane. This allows drivers on four-lane highways in rural areas to keep a greater distance from the road sides where they might encounter wildlife.

Drivers are also encouraged to move to the left lane if they are passing a stopped official vehicle displaying red, blue or yellow flashing lights, such as police cars, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance and construction vehicles.