BC Supreme Court rules slow driver in left-most lane contributed to major crash on Coquihalla
In a judgment released today, the Court found the driver of a camper truck, who was driving at 25 to 30 kilometres per hour under the posted speed limit in the passing lane, contributed 10 percent to a major collision which was principally caused by an aggressive driver.
The motor vehicle collision occurred August 11, 2011 approximately 30 kilometres south of Merritt on the Coquihalla Highway and resulted in two passengers being ejected from a vehicle and suffering catastrophic injuries.
Don Renaud, lead legal counsel of the Campbell, Renaud Law Firm, representing one of the passengers, is pleased with the decision: “This will go a long way toward helping these two young women receive the best possible care for their injuries.” Damages have yet to be assessed.
There is both public and official concern with slow drivers travelling in the left lane on high-speed highways. Earlier this year, Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, expressed his support for greater police enforcement.
“Drivers who block the left lane increase the risk caused by aggressive drivers who will pass on the right or tailgate. This change provides clarity to police officers who will enforce the requirement for vehicles to travel in the right lane.”
The Coquihalla collision is an example of what the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s ‘Keep Right’ campaign is endeavouring to prevent.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure press release: “Keeping left is not always right”
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure report: “Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review“