New BC road rules are in effect but some doubt they’ll be enforced

Beginning today, some new road rules are in effect that are meant to protect vulnerable road users in BC.

According to the BC Ministry of Transportation, the rules will require drivers to maintain new minimum distances from people who are walking and riding on roads.

Vulnerable road users include cyclists and motorcyclists, pedestrians, people riding animals or occupying vehicles pulled by animals, and people using electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and electric kick scooters.

Some BC residents are questioning whether the rules will be enforced.

Drivers passing vulnerable road users must keep a minimum distance of one metre on highways with speeds of 50 km or less or one and a half metres on highways with speeds of 51 km or more.

This also applies to drivers passing vulnerable road users riding in separated and protected bike lanes and on sidewalks, requiring a minimum of half a metre distance.

In a discussion about the new rules on Reddit, some worry about the lack of enforcement.

“Having worked on the highways for 35 years, the rules have always been in place,” one user said.

“The problem is enforcement. I have called the police to enforce it, they refused. I have called WCB to enforce it, they refused. No one will enforce it,” they added.

“Enforcement really is the issue,” another user said.

Another user had doubts, saying, “This will be impossible to enforce.”

One more Redditor said, “Without enforcement this is just words. People already don’t respect the bike lane lines. On thinner roads I purposely ride the line or the main lane if drivers are being unpredictable.”

When enforced, failing to observe the new rules could lead to a ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act with potential penalties including:

  • $109 and three driver penalty points for failing to take proper precautions with vulnerable road users.
  • $368 and three driver penalty points for failing to maintain prescribed minimum passing distances.
  • The maximum fine is $2,000 and six months of imprisonment.

BC says that vulnerable road users face a higher risk of serious injury or death as a result of motor vehicle incidents.

You can read more about the new BC road rules here.

Do you think these new rules will be adequately enforced? Let us know in the comments.