Province to target left-lane huggers

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says love of the left lane seems to be a Left Coast thing, and he's working on a solution

New signs are being put up on B.C. highways to encourage people not to block the left lane.

The left-lane-hugging road hog seems to be a species that particularly flourishes in B.C. It can often be seen trailing a line of vehicles on the highway, or cutting across lanes of traffic on right turns to get to its preferred habitat.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says he’s spent time in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, and this inappropriate love of the left lane seems unique to the Left Coast. So he’s looking at legal changes to make it easier to enforce the practice of keeping the left lane open for passing.

Stone told reporters Tuesday the issue came up often in last year’s rural speed limit review.

“One of the key things we heard from British Columbians all around the province was this frustration with left-lane hogs, people who tend to camp out in the left lane and seem to think that the left lane and right lane are there to serve the same purposes,” Stone said. “They’re not.”

One result of that review is a new road sign to replace the “slower traffic keep right” and “keep right except to pass” wording used in B.C. “Keep right – let others pass” with a graphic is the new design and it seems to be having some educational effect, Stone said.

Accident studies have shown that frustrated drivers following too closely or passing on the right are risk factors. Premier Christy Clark said the problem should be dealt with, but she added a caution.

“I think we should go a little bit easy sometimes on the folks who are in the left hand lane going a little bit slow,” Clark said. “I think about my 75-year-old mother driving down the road, and sometimes she’s in the wrong lane, and it might be really frustrating for the people behind her. But we should try to be respectful and civil about that.”

Stone declined to give specifics about what legislative changes are coming. Police told the ministry last year the existing law isn’t clear and tickets can be overturned in court challenges.

 

Just Posted

Three incumbent councillors re-elected in Houston

Houston mayor and director of Electoral Area G re-elected by acclamation

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Okanagan parachute accident kills American

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read