BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C.'s Slow Left Lane Drivers Face Crackdown

03/03/2015 02:36 EST | Updated 03/03/2015 02:59 EST
Keith Douglas via Getty Images
Traffic on Kingsway and Boundary, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

B.C. is flexing its legislative muscle to stop drivers who move too slowly in the fast lane.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced Monday he intends to introduce legislation that will help police crack down on drivers who hold up traffic in left passing lanes, The Vancouver Sun reported.

The news follows a 2014 review of highway safety that found slower-moving vehicles can clog traffic, frustrate drivers, and lead to "erratic, unsafe passing behaviour."

"We know from a variety of data sources, whether it be ICBC, collision information, or RCMP traffic reports, that failure to keep right except to pass is actually a cause of a lot of collisions across British Columbia," the Sun quoted Stone saying.

B.C.'s Motor Vehicle Act already states that anyone who drives slowly enough to hold up left lane traffic can face a fine of $109.

But police are having difficulty enforcing it because courts often overturn tickets, CBC News reported.

"The way that the legislation is currently written, it does not provide them with the tools that give them the high degree of confidence that actually pulling someone over and giving them the ticket will stand up in court," Stone said.

The provincial government is also planning an education campaign to remind drivers that it's illegal to drive in the left lane and not pass.

The new measures follow the government's decision last year to raise speed limits on certain roads from 110 to 120 km/h.

Ian Tootill, the co-founder of SENSE B.C., which pushes for "realistic speed limits," is happy about the new measures, he told the Sun.

"Anecdotally, anybody who drives on the road here on the highways knows we have terrible lane discipline," Tootill said.

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