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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Slow Drivers

I find myself in this situation on a daily basis. The term "Slower Traffic
Keep Right". Is this strictly on highways?? I find myself stuck in the left lane going less than the speed limit. Technically if I was to pass on the right, wouldn't I be committing an offense?? Is there a law governing
slower traffic keeping to the right?? I was born and raised in Vancouver,
and learned to drive there. When I am down to visit, I have the same
problem till I get on the Trans Canada, and people move over no problem.
When I have someone catching up to me from behind, I move over. Can we not teach this "rule" in driving schools and with learners license holders???
Or is it just driving etiquette?

If there is more than one lane in your direction of travel and you are behind a slow moving vehicle, you may pass on the right provided there is a clear lane to do so.

Passing on right
Section 158 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that the driver of a vehicle must not cause or permit the vehicle to overtake and pass on the right of another vehicle, except
(a) when the vehicle overtaken is making a left turn or its driver has signaled his or her intention to make a left turn,
(b) when on a laned roadway there is one or more than one unobstructed lane on the side of the roadway on which the driver is permitted to drive, or
(c) on a one way street or a highway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and is of sufficient width for 2 or more lanes of moving vehicles.
(2) Despite subsection (1), a driver of a vehicle must not cause the vehicle to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right
(a) when the movement cannot be made safely, or
(b) by driving the vehicle off the roadway.

The common sense rule is if a driver is driving below the posted speed limit and there is no apparent reason be it slippery road surface or traffic congestion, then the slower moving driver should move over to the right. The roadway laws in British Columbia usually have posted signs on highways that indicate that the slower moving vehicles should use the right hand lane of a multi laned roadway.

I recommend to drivers traveling on a multi laned roadway to drive in the right hand lane or "driving lane" and if need be pass slower moving vehicle in the median lane or the "passing lane" and then once finished passing move back over to the "driving lane."

Driving on laned roadway
Section 151 of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that a driver who is driving a vehicle on a laned roadway and,
g) if a traffic control device directs slow moving traffic to use a designated lane, must when driving slowly drive the vehicle in that lane only.

Slow driving is an offense and carries a fine of $121 and 3 points.
Slow driving
Section 145 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act indicates that a person must not drive a motor vehicle at so slow a speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
(2) If the driver of a motor vehicle is driving at so slow a speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, a peace officer may require the driver to increase his or her speed, or to remove the motor vehicle from the roadway to the nearest suitable place and to refrain from causing or allowing the motor vehicle to move from that place until directed to do so by a peace officer.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison
Kelowna R.C.M.P. Detachment


More Behind the Wheel articles

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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