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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sinclar Group curtailing all sawmill operations temporarily

Nechako Lumber, Apollo Forest Products and Lakeland Mills to be curtailed for three weeks starting April 5.

Fraser Lake launches campaign to support local businesses

Businesses have adapted and are providing delivery options, says economic development officer of the Village

Letter: Update on post spring-break plans from SD91

By Manu Madhok, Superintendent of Schools Dear Parents/Guardians, As we officially end… Continue reading

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

‘Drive right through’: Haida Gwaii First Nation erects checkpoint for non-residents

Skidegate Band Council Emergency Operations Centre erected checkpoint on April 2

Most Read