Drivers caught hogging the fast lane on B.C. highways shouldn't expect to get off with a warning anymore.
Numbers provided by ICBC show more than 1,500 tickets have been dished out to motorists across the province since the updated left-lane law was introduced in August 2015.
Police were initially hesitant to ding potentially unaware drivers with the $167 fine, but the grace period appears to be over. ICBC's statistics show officers handed out 762 tickets in 2015 and another 793 in 2016, for a total of 1,555.
Ian Tootill of SENSE BC, a driver's advocacy group, said it's encouraging that the rule requiring people to keep right and let others pass is being enforced.
Tootill said most left-lane hogs fall into two categories: drivers who don't know the rules, and drivers who think it's their right to camp out as long as they're going the speed limit.
"They are people that just feel that they are self-appointed police men and that it's their right to be in the left lane if they're doing the speed limit," he said.
Tootill also suggested hogging the fast lane could be a symptom of distracted driving.
"They could be occupying a left-hand lane and not paying attention to their rearview mirror, or the fact that they just shouldn't be in that lane to begin with," he said.
According to ICBC, 103 tickets were handed out in Surrey – the most of any municipality in the province. Vancouver came second with 87 fines, followed by Kelowna with 65 and Kamloops with 48.
On top of the $167 ticket, left-lane hogs in B.C. are dinged with three driver penalty points.
Beyond the risk of getting fined, police warn that blocking the fast lane can encourage dangerous manoeuvres from trapped and frustrated drivers.
With files from CTV Vancouver's St. John Alexander