If you ask any driver, they'll probably say what grinds their gears the most is getting stuck behind someone in the passing lane.
"Left-lane hogs" is what Transportation Minister Todd Stone calls them, and the issue seems to have gotten on his nerves for the last time. Now the province is teaming up with ICBC for an awareness campaign about keeping right except to pass, just like the sign says.
"For whatever reason in British Columbia, the prevalence of people camping out in the left lane impeding traffic behind them is far too common," Stone said in an interview in Prince George on March 22. "We don't know exactly why that is; it's not like that in other provinces and U.S. States."
Stone is moving ahead with legislative changes this session to "tighten up" language in the Motor Vehicle Act, as he puts it. The intent is to make tickets for the offence stand up in court.
The fine for holding up traffic under the Act is $109, though Stone admitted that it is rarely enforced. Instead, his plan is to focus on driver education with an awareness campaign this summer.
"We're going to work with our road-safety partners, like ICBC and law enforcement, on a coordinated campaign, much like we do with Counter-Attack and the Shift Into Winter campaign," Stone said. "We really want to draw awareness to the fact that if you're camped-out in that left-lane, you're actually a menace to yourself and a menace to other people; it's one of the leading causes of driver frustration."
The changes will go through the Legislature in the next couple of months, according to Stone.
The plan is one of the items in his $2.5 billion B.C. on the Move initiative, upgrading all forms of travel in the province.