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Laws across Canada say the left lane on multi-lane highways should be for passing only, a law that is seldom enforced, meaning many people drive leisurely in the "passing" lane blocking others, increasing frustrations and causing jams
Photo Credit: CBC

British Columbia: the left lane is for passing!

They’re known in Canada as “left lane hogs”, and ultimately by several other less pleasant names, by people in cars backed up behind them on the highway, unable to pass.

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Ian Toothill, co-founder of SENSE- a motorist advocacy group ““Some people think its their right to camp out in the left lane……they cause an increase in interactions between vehicles and disrupt the flow of traffic” © CBC

On multi-lane highways in Canada, when there are two or more lanes in the same direction, the left lane is for passing only. There are laws stating this but they are only very rarely enforced in any province.

The lane hogs are people who insist on driving leisurely in the left lane, forcing people to pass on the right (illegal in some cases) or stay backed up behind them.

Although left lane hogs are common all across Canada, a movement is beginning in Canada’s west coast province of British Columbia to get driver’s to move over. They want the province to take similar action to that of the US state of Washington

There a campaign is in full swing to get drivers dawdling in the left lane to move over, often with a warning but sometimes with a $124 ticket.

Groups like SENSE in British Columbia have long advocated for greater enforcement of left lane laws.

Now the BC Ministry of transport says “Proactive measures are coming to encourage motorist to stay on the right. We expect results of the review in early July”

There is a bit of conundrum though. The speed  limit on most highways across Canada is 100 kmh. So if traffic flow is 110 or 115, which is quite common, someone could be “hogging” the left lane by staying with the speed of traffic, but also breaking the law, along with everyone else, by technically exceeding the speed limit.

Posted in Lifestyle, Society
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One comment on “British Columbia: the left lane is for passing!
  1. David Gerrior says:

    I suspect that if a study was done we would find that most of the “left lane hogs” are seniors with poor vision. So why are they always in the left lane? Simple, the most visible line on the road is the one marking the center line between opposing lanes of traffic. People with low or poor vision can see this line whereas there are often no lines between lanes of traffic in the same direction(or they are extremely faded lines) and they cannot see the line.

    So they drive on the left where they can see the line and thus know where they are! I know its a scary idea that we allow people with such poor vision to drive on our roads but I would bet there is logic to my argument.