As travellers prepare for their holiday road trips, the ministry would like to remind motorists to ensure their vehicle is “winter ready” with proper tires and that they check DriveBC and weather conditions before heading out on the roads and highways.
“Winter weather has already arrived in many parts of the province, and that’s why it’s so important to be prepared this season before leaving on your holiday road trip,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. “Before you go, make sure your vehicle has the proper winter tires regardless of where you live. For those traveling over mountain passes, you must have Mountain Snowflake, or the Mud and Snow (M+S) tires and they have to be in good condition with a minimum 3.5 mm tread depth.”
For those planning to travel along Highways 1, 5 and 99, there are 47 variable speed signs to help drivers adapt their speed to the changeable weather conditions. These signs require drivers to slow down and reduce their speed in bad weather with enforceable, updated speeds. Overhead message signs at the entrance of each corridor inform drivers to be aware of changing weather conditions. Flashing amber lights alert drivers to speed changes so they can adjust to a lower speed up ahead.
“With the holidays right around the corner, motorists should be more cautious on the roads, as traffic volumes tend to increase,” said Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris. “The recent blast of winter weather in many areas of B.C. has made travel more challenging. I want to remind drivers to always maintain a safe following distance at all times, be aware of changing weather and drive to road conditions. Leave in time to arrive at your destination safely and enjoy your holidays.”
Drivers are reminded to ensure their vehicles are equipped with winter tires if they are travelling on certain highways throughout the province. A map showing the designated routes that require passenger vehicles to be equipped with winter tires is located at this link: http://ow.ly/QuZI3076kqT
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.
- Drivers failing to have vehicles equipped with proper winter tires can be fined $109.
- Variable Speed Limit systems on Highways 1, 5 and 99 are enforceable by law. Those failing to drive to the updated speeds may be fined under the Motor Vehicle Act.
- Other tips to prepare your car for winter travel include:
- Recent winter maintenance check.
- Change to winter wiper blades.
- Clear all ice and snow from winders, mirrors, hood and roof.
- Make sure cell phone is fully charged but not a driving distraction.
- Keep the windshield washer reservoir full.
- Keep a winter survival kit in the car.
- Make sure the gas tank is full.
For tips on how to prepare your vehicle for winter, click here: http://shiftintowinter.ca/prepare-your-vehicle/
For more details on winter tires and traction devices, click here: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/traveller-information/seasonal/winter-driving/winter-tires-and-chains/winter-tire-and-chain-up-routes
For more details on variable speed limit signs, click here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016TRAN0115-000919