AutomotiveBritish ColumbiaDrivingHealth

3 fineable traffic laws you could be breaking without knowing it

Do them all and face nearly $500 in tickets

To many British Columbians, driving is as natural as walking. And because we do it so much, we consider ourselves experts. But there are some lesser-known rules that many of us break everyday without even knowing it. Here are a few.

1. Travelling in the left-hand lane

Don’t be a lane hog.

Since June 2015, motorists are required to keep right and let others pass. This applies to B.C. highways with two or more lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction and a posted speed limit of 80 km/h or greater.

Drivers failing to keep right can be fined $167 and get 3 driver penalty points.

Driving in the left lane is not permitted unless a motorist is:

  • Overtaking and passing another vehicle
  • Moving left to allow traffic to merge
  • Preparing for a left hand turn
  • Passing a stopped official vehicle displaying red, blue or yellow flashing lights (for example, police cars, ambulances, tow trucks, maintenance or construction vehicles). Remember to Slow Down and Move Over.

When the speed of traffic is 50 km/h or slower on a highway with a posted speed limit of 80 km/h or greater, a driver may remain in the left hand lane. However, when traffic speed rises above 50 km/h, the driver should move into the right hand lane.

[ source:

2. Going the speed limit in fog, heavy rain or snow

When the roads are lousy, don’t be afraid to slow down – going the speed limit could actually get you a ticket in British Columbia, says RCMP Corporal Ronda McEwen, with E division traffic services.

Driving too fast when roads are snowy or slippery or when you can’t see due to fog or snow could get you a $167 fine and 3 demerit points in British Columbia – even if you’re driving at or below the speed limit.

“Safety first,” says McEwen, “The posted speed limit is the maximum in ideal conditions so, in many cases, travelling at a reduced speed is very much appropriate and required.”

[source: The Globe & Mail ]

3. Smoking in the car with kids

To help protect children from second-hand smoke while they are passengers in motor vehicles, the Motor Vehicle Act states that no one may smoke in a vehicle that has a passenger under the age of 16.

British Columbians caught smoking in a vehicle with children under 16 present face a $109 fine under provincial regulations.

Tobacco smoke is particularly harmful to the developing system of a young child. As with other violations of the Motor Vehicle Act, enforcement of the legislation is the responsibility of local police departments and the RCMP. Individuals found to be in violation of the legislation will be subject to a fine, and failure to pay smoking violation fines will result in a refusal to issue drivers’ and vehicle licences.

Research indicates that smoking one cigarette in a parked vehicle with the windows rolled up will produce a concentration of second-hand smoke up to 11 times higher than what would be encountered in a smoky bar.

[ source:

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