'Trying to take advantage:' Halifax police target drivers misusing bus lanes, adding to congestion
Police issued more than 30 tickets over two days on the Bedford Highway this week.
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Weeks of construction and long traffic lines have more and more Haligonians using bus lanes as a quick fix to get ahead -- which police say only adds to congestion and can prove expensive for those caught.
Halifax Regional Police issued 14 tickets Wednesday (most for failing to obey a traffic sign regarding the bus lane issue, which is $180) over an hour and a half on the Bedford Highway near the intersection with Main Avenue. Another 20 were issued over two hours on Tuesday -- the highest number Const. Shawn Currie has seen although he knew there were even more he couldn’t get to.
While Currie, a traffic division officer, said people using the bus lane on the Bedford Highway is on ongoing issue, a recent spike in complaints prompted Halifax police to set up the check points.
“Everybody's trying to take advantage of anything they can... and of course coming down Main Avenue they see this nice lane sitting there on the Bedford Highway -- and that can save you five or 10 minutes,” Currie said.
However that isn’t worth adding to the congestion for everyone else, Currie said, especially since other drivers are used to keeping an eye out for larger buses in that lane and often don’t see smaller vehicles merging.
Although HRM’s long term plans include more bus priority lanes, Currie said he hopes that doesn’t mean people will keep abusing them -- since “everybody can learn.”
“I’m hoping this is just a unique situation with the amount of roads that have been congested and closed down, so hopefully it will die down,” he said.