driving in toronto

Ontario cop puts bad Toronto drivers on blast for hanging out in the hammer lane

Constant construction, surprise road closures, pedestrian mobs around stadiums and a sheer lack of adequate infrastructure aren't the only things to blame for Toronto's mounting traffic problem; Bad drivers might be making your life just as hard, if not harder, than all of the problems above.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt took to Twitter late last week with a powerful rant and a call to action for viewers to spread the knowledge that the left lanes of highways aren't meant for meandering.

"I want to talk about one of my pet peeves, and I'm guessing it might be one of your pet peeves as well," said Schmidt in a selfie-style video published to the OPP Highway Safety Division's Twitter account on Thursday.

"I was coming down Highway 400 this evening. Traffic volume was relatively light, there was a good flow of traffic, and all of a sudden there'd be a slowdown and a stacking up of vehicles," the officer explained.

"I'd look up ahead and I would see a single vehicle all by itself in the leftmost lane, and not moving over. Even though there were plenty of opportunities for these vehicles to move into the middle lane or right lane to allow other vehicles to pass on the left."

Schmidt notes that, while this behaviour is not illegal, officials always encourage drivers to pass on the left, drive on the right and leave the left lane open (where possible) for passing.

"When vehicles and drivers don't have that awareness that they're causing vehicles to start backing up and stacking up behind them. That leads to frustration, it can lead to road rage," said Schmidt.

"And it leads to confusion out on the roads when there are vehicles passing in all lanes of the highway."

Drivers who claim to be unaware of this fact could perhaps benefit from a driver's ed refresh, or even just paying attention to what's around them; there are signs all along the highway requesting motorists to leave left lanes open for passing vehicles.

"Now it's not illegal to pass on any of the thru lanes, but it is courteous to move to the right when you're being overtaken," said Schmidt in a more polite version of the sentiment that hanging out in the hammer lane is a d*ck move.

Schmidt asked viewers to let him know how they deal with this frustrating problem, beckoning all drivers to turn right when they're driving down the road and spot somebody close behind them.

"I don't think they teach lane discipline in driver training in Ontario," responded one Twitter user. "Left lane hogs create bad karma all around them. There needs to be a stiff fine."

"I always go around left laners, a few car lengths before," advised another. "You are only asking for trouble if you get right up on top of another car. They weren't going to move over before, they're definitely not going to do it now."

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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