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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 04-24-2011, 04:08 AM   #1
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$1500 Worth of tickets coming home from Seattle.

Here is a little background information about what happend, just earlier this morning: I was in my friends passenger seat coming home and we about 10~15 minutes away from the Canadian border. Immediately after the sirens went off my friend pulled over to the left, and then we were instructed to pull over to the right. We were told we were going 75 mph in what I believe was a 60 mph zone. The Officer told us 3 things:

1. In America pulling over on the left side of traffic is illegal and a $1000 fine.

2. In America it is illegal to travel on the left lane except to pass. (I forgot the fine amount)

3. The fine for the speeding would have been 200 something dollars.

So what I'm asking is if these first two offenses are illegal in Vancouver/Canada? I have never heard of the 2nd offence being illegal at all as I see people traveling on the left lane all the time not passing, from slow traffic under the speed limit to police officers themselves. Or is this strictly in the United States?

I can understand the first offense being an illegal because that was an honest mistake out of shock/panic but do we still have the same level of fine because the office seemed to stress "In America." Or is relative to situation here in Vancouver (okay if pulled over for ambulance, no where to pull over on right.)

The officer told us that this was $1500 worth of tickets, but it was late and the officer was very lenient and gave us a warning then let us go. But I have never heard of these charges before so can someone please shed some light if it's an American thing? (I understand the speeding was a totally acceptable charge.)
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:22 AM   #2
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I know someone who actually got the ticket for #1.

#2 is true. As soon as you cross the boarder, you may have seen a sign.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:30 AM   #3
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If you notice, most of the cars driving on the left lane consistently, are speeding BC cars.

In America, most people follow the rules in driving on the highway and follow the speed limit. We are supposed to "stay right except to pass" as well but I am not sure if we can get tickets for it here.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:07 AM   #4
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1) True here as well, there was a previous post on RS about this where a member also got flack for pulling over to the left

2) Applies to the US and parts of Canada. There are signs on the HWY91 "keep right except to pass".
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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US cops often seem to throw the book at foreigners, then let them go with a warning..
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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1) In BC you must immediately pull over to the nearest edge of the roadway, clear of an intersection, stop and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed by. On divided highway, the nearest edge of the roadway may be to your left.

2) Driver on right

150 (1) The driver of a vehicle must confine the course of the vehicle to the right hand half of the roadway if the roadway is of sufficient width and it is practicable to do so, except
(c) on a highway designated and marked by signs for one way traffic,

A divided consists of two separate highways, each containing one way traffic, so you are not required to keep to the right except when passing in this situation. If the highway is not divided, then you must.

3) That may be.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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I drive to NY from Toronto relatively often, and I've been pulled over driving in the left lane too. My fault tho, I've seen the numerous signs but just cause everyone else was doing it so I decided to do it.

One extra note of interest ~ no right turns on red light in NYC.

Luckily, I've been let off with warnings every time I've been pulled over.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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I doiubt you would get a ticket for the 2nd one. unless you are holding up traffic. and if you are going 15mph over the limit would be unlikly to get those 2 together...

but yes in canada you must stay right as well.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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I don't know that either of these are "in America" offenses, since most of these laws are set by the states... but they certainly are the case in Washington.

As noted, there are clear signs all over the place when you're in WA, "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS", and on the Interstate, they also tend to include the "STATE LAW" part. In more urban areas of BC, you'll see the vague "SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT" but once you get on the open highway, you'll see more of them now say "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS".
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kuruuze View Post

2. In America it is illegal to travel on the left lane except to pass.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:26 AM   #11
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:34 AM   #12
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #13
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Alright... so I think I get it now. From what I can take from the above posts pulling over to the left is okay in Vancouver, getting ticketed for that is an American thing.

Keeping right except to pass applies on highway Vancouver only (although it's never followed, ever), in the city it's okay. Gotcha.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:52 PM   #14
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Alright... so I think I get it now. From what I can take from the above posts pulling over to the left is okay in Vancouver, getting ticketed for that is an American thing.
In BC (not just Vancouver) you're required to pull to the nearest SAFE side of the road. If you're in the left lane and there's not enough room to pull off safely, you must still pull off to the right if possible.

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Keeping right except to pass applies on highway Vancouver only (although it's never followed, ever), in the city it's okay. Gotcha.
Again, in BC, "slower traffic keep right" is the general rule. "Keep right except to pass" applies wherever you see that sign.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:08 PM   #15
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1. In America pulling over on the left side of traffic is illegal and a $1000 fine.
Yes. If you are stopped by police in WA, always always pull over to the RIGHT (even if you're in the far left or HOV lane). Otherwise it's $1,064 (Failure to yield the right of way on approach of emergency vehicle (RCW 46.61.210).

However, the officer should be aware that earlier this month a motorist in WA successfully fought the case all the way to the WA Appeals Court and they found in her favour. The judges interpreted the law (as it's written) only applies when being approached by an emergency vehicle who is intending to pass you-- not when the police vehicle is attempting to pull you over. So that's good news for anyone who received this ticket and is currently disputing.

Last edited by Eff-1; 04-25-2011 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:23 PM   #16
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