Keep Right Except to Pass Law Changes Coming?
The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to make it easier for police to prosecute slow drivers using the fast lane on B.C.'s highways. The promised changes will occur later this spring according to Todd Stone, but there does not appear to be any indication of this in current first reading bills. Perhaps the first question that needs to be asked is whether or not this is really a significant cause of collisions and deserving of increased enforcement.
One opinion on this that was explained to me in no uncertain terms came from a judicial justice of the peace in traffic court. She said that if I were ever to bring a ticket for slower traffic failing to keep right where that slower traffic was moving at the speed limit into her court there would never be a conviction. Yes, I know that the current law does not support that stance, but I also understand and share the philosophy behind it.
I'm the (semi) older guy in the slow lane doing the speed limit. I often feel like a rock in the stream as everyone pours around me in the fast lane. I also see the fastest drivers attempting to bulldoze the faster drivers out of the way by following at less than a vehicle length behind waiting for the driver to either move over or an opportunity to pass on the right to present itself. I was always happy to ticket the tailgater over the left lane blocker as they were clearly the greater danger to my way of thinking.
Yes, on two lane roads there are occasionally slower drivers that are quite happy to lead a parade rather than let everyone by. However, if I applied the same tolerance under the speed limit as I did for those over it and kept watch on the cautionary signs at the roadside, I rarely found a driver outside the lower limit and constantly found drivers over it. New drivers and some older drivers need to be slower to be safe sometimes. We can expect the able to slow down, but we cannot expect the others to speed up.
Is using police enforcement to clear the fast lane to permit drivers to more easily break the speed laws a good use of resources? I may be wrong, but this is what I am feeling is the left lane driver's anticipation from the tone of current media coverage. When the proposed changes do appear, I hope that they are applied wisely.