March 04, 2015 - 7:28 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Signs telling drivers to stay right except when passing have graced B.C. highways for years but after community feedback suggested slow drivers were still dawdling in the passing lane the province has opted to give RCMP officers more ways to crack down.
Following a study and public survey, the Ministry of Transportation announced last July signs on B.C. highways would be updated and the number of them increased to more directly tell drivers how to treat the left passing lane.
“Keep Right Except to Pass” is the continued message used to show drivers that staying on the outside lane is a regulation, not a courtesy. Signs with less direct messages, such as “Slower Traffic Keep Right” will be replaced over time.
Tickets for slower driving can be issued if a driver’s behaviour is causing a backup on the highway or blocking movement of traffic. Slow driving and failure to keep right both carry fines ranging from $109 to $121. How fines will be issued and enforced is yet to be determined; a spokesperson for the ministry said the details will be embedded in the legislation. The legislation's release date is unknown.
To give drivers better passing options, the government has created 30 new passing lanes throughout the province. A pilot project requiring slower drivers to pull off and let traffic pass if more than five vehicles are lined up behind them is also being undertaken on Highway 4 and highway speeds were increased by 10 km/h on many provincial highways last summer as well.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015