The B.C government has followed through on its promise to introduce legislation that would make it easier for authorities to ticket left-lane hogs.
Right now, the rules state the driver must get out of the left lane if they're not travelling at a normal speed, but that has been hard to enforce.
The amendment to the legislation which was introduced on Monday clarifies the Motor Vehicle Act language that would prohibit cruising in the fast lane.
When the legislation is passed, drivers must stick to the right lane unless:
- they are overtaking another vehicle,
- moving left to allow traffic to merge,
- preparing for a left-hand turn or
- moving left to pass an official vehicle displaying a flashing light.
Drivers can also move into the left lanes if it is unsafe to use the right lane or during rush-hour traffic or congested traffic when driving speeds drop to 50 km/h or less.
"Drivers who won't move over can impede traffic and contribute to crashes. This new rule makes it clear who should travel in the left lane, and when, promoting safety on our highways," said Transportation Minister Todd Stone in a press release.
However, it will take time for authorities to start cracking down on those left lane hogs.
"It is going to take time to change driver behaviour and it is going to take a coordinated effort," Stone added.
The government is also reviewing the penalty for left lane hogs; currently the fine is set to $109 and three demerit points.
The B.C. Association of Police Chiefs is also backing the proposed change, although it did say ticketing left-lane hogs was not a priority when the idea was first floated.
Now, Chief Neil Dubord says, this change provides clarity to police officers who will enforce the requirement for vehicles to travel in the right lane.