Winter weather is quickly approaching, and the ministry would like to remind motorists that B.C.’s winter tire rules kick in as of tomorrow – Thursday, Oct. 1.
Motorists will need to equip their vehicles with winter tires if they will be travelling on certain highways in the North, the Interior, the South Coast (such as the Sea to Sky route to Whistler and Pemberton) and Vancouver Island (such as the Malahat, Highway 14, Highway 4 and Highway 28).
"It's our annual reminder to drivers to ensure your vehicle has winter tires if you will be travelling on the designated routes, and to ensure the tires are in good condition, with appropriate traction," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. "We want to be sure everyone is well prepared as they set out for driving this fall and winter. This means getting your vehicle winter ready, and remembering to always drive to the road conditions."
As a result of the technical analysis completed during the 2014 Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review, winter tires have been defined as those labelled with either the Mountain Snowflake symbol or the Mud and Snow (M+S) symbol. Winter tires must be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.
Winter tires improve driving safety by providing better traction in snow, slush and icy conditions. Drivers are also reminded to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather.
Commercial vehicles that are 27,000 kg gross volume weight (GVW) and greater, such as tractor trailers, are required to carry chains on the designated routes. The ministry recommends that commercial vehicle drivers keep chains on board at all times.
Signs are posted to identify those highways where winter tires are required for lighter cars and trucks, and chains are required for heavy commercial trucks. These routes are generally located approaching high mountain passes and highways which see significant winter conditions and where conditions can change from rain to snow quickly.
The ministry has also increased funding in support of the multi-agency “Shift into Winter” campaign, which promotes safe winter driving in British Columbia. As a result, the reach of the campaign has doubled from previous years. This safety campaign reminds motorists to prepare their vehicles, check DriveBC before they leave home, and to drive to road conditions.
- Drivers who do not have the proper winter tires on their vehicle on the designated routes can receive a fine of $121.
- Drivers who do not have the minimum tread depth on their tires (3.5 mm) on the designated routes can receive a fine of $109.
For more information on winter tire and chain requirements in British Columbia, go to: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/driving/traveller-information/seasonal/winter-driving/winter-tires-and-chains
To check out "Shift into Winter" for more smart winter driving tips, go to: http://shiftintowinter.ca/