Rules clarified for left lane hogs

The province has rolled out new laws dictating the proper use of the left land on high-speed highways.

Starting June 12, B.C. drivers are facing fines of $167 unless they have a good reason to travel in the left lane of high-speed, multi-lane highways.

New regulations are in effect clarifying the rules for travelling in the left lane on the highway.

Drivers on multi-lane highways, when the speed is more than 80 kilometres per hour, must stay in the right-hand lane unless they are overtaking and passing 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.

During rush hours, when congestion drops speeds to 50 kilometres per hour or less, drivers are encouraged to use the left-most lane to keep traffic flowing.

The $167 fine for breaking the new left-lane rules also comes with three penalty points for the driver. The new laws allow the ministry to require winter tires, studded tires or traction devices, like chains.

Another change permits local governments to allow motorcycle parking within six metres of intersections with stop signs or signals, as long as they don’t impede drivers’ views, allowing for efficient use of spaces too small for a car.

When traffic is minimal, and no other vehicles are approaching from behind, the province says a vehicle can travel in the left-most lane. This allows drivers in rural areas to keep a greater distance from the roadside where they might encounter wildlife.

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Updated June 14, 8 p.m.