06/12/2015 02:01 EDT | Updated 06/12/2016 05:59 EDT

Left-lane hogs in B.C. to receive higher fines

Left-lane hogs on British Columbia's highways are about to be hit by higher fines, the government announced Friday.

New regulations — effective today — mean that drivers spotted in the left lane when they should not be, will be fined $167 and given three penalty points (the previous fine was $109).

In a statement released Friday, transportation minister Todd Stone said that the changes came after last year's Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review.

"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. We have strengthened the law to give police better tools to crack-down on left-lane hogs."

The regulations mean that drivers on multi-lane highways with a speed limit higher than 80 km/h must stay on the right unless they are:

- 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.

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.