Winter is quickly approaching and with that, British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is reminding motorists that beginning Oct. 1, winter tires are required on many highways throughout the province.
Signs are posted on each of the designated highways to advise motorists that winter tires are required. This is generally on approaching high mountain passes and interior highways where conditions can change very quickly, from rain to snow.
Winters tires are labelled with either the winter mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation. The tires must be in good condition with a minimum of 3.5 mm.
According to Harley Wyssen from Kal Tire in Fort St. James, it’s always a good idea to book your appointment early because it fills up fast.
“We are getting booked up quickly,” Wyssen said.
“And when getting winter tires, always make sure to have that snowflake on the side wall of the tire. This means the tire meets standards and it also avoids your insurance company not paying you in case of a claim,” Wyseen said.
According to ICBC, driving without winter tires will not void your insurance if you have a claim. It also won’t mean that you are automatically at fault in a crash. However, if you are involved in a crash where tires could have helped, not having them may affect whether, or how much you are at fault.
“It’s also a really good idea to check your tire pressure more often in the winter months because of the cold weather,” Wyssen said.
Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop. The pressure should be checked at least once a month when the tires are cold.
Drivers may also wish to enhance the traction of their winter tire by carrying chains or other traction devices.