Already at various police check stops it has been noticed that some motorists are preparing for winter by having four good winter grip tires on their vehicle. There have been phone calls received from members of the public at detachments inquiring about out fitting their vehicle for winter. Some rental car agencies are also advertising that they have winter tires on their vehicles. This is encouraging to see.
However there are a number of motorists who do not think about preparing for winter driving or put things off until it is too late. These people often become clients for tow truck operators, ICBC, perhaps: Fire Rescue, Ambulance, Police, Hospitals and in some cases the Corner Service.
Police would like to remind motorists, it is again time to start thinking about the effect changing weather has upon the highway.
Collision data indicates that the fall and winter season is the time of year that motorists tend to speed and drive too fast for road conditions. The data shows that 43.57 % of fatal and injury motor vehicle collisions are caused by drivers driving at an unsafe speed or speeding relative to road conditions.
Drivers in BC that are encounter for excessive speed i.e.: 40 kph above the posted limit by police in addition to a fine for Excessive Speed starting at $368 as of 20 Sept, 2010, will now have their vehicle impounded for 7 days with associated tow and storage fees attributed to them.
All-season tires are not recommended for winter driving.
- Snow tires provide better traction and braking in deep snow
- Snow tires provide greater stability and control on slushy roads
- Using snow tires on all four wheels of your vehicle allows for more effective acceleration, braking and cornering
- Some winter tires have features that allow for better grip on ice
Tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake meet specific snow traction performance requirements, and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions. At law, what is a winter tire?
Motor Vehicle Act - Section 208 states:
208 (1) For the purpose of this section, "winter tire" means a tire that is
(a) advertised or represented by its manufacturer or a person in the business of selling tires to be a tire intended principally for winter use, and that provides, or is designed to provide, adequate traction in snow or mud; and
(b) In the condition respecting tread wear and other particulars the regulations prescribe.
(2) The Minister of Transportation and Highways may, by public notice or by placing signs, prohibit vehicles from being driven or operated on a highway that are not equipped with chains, winter tires or sanding devices, or a combination of these the minister considers adequate and necessary in view of prevailing road conditions.
(3) For the purposes of a prosecution under this section, the onus is on the defendant to prove that a tire alleged not to be a winter tire is in fact a winter tire.
Motor Vehicle Act Regulations- Section 7.162 states:
7.162 A winter tire as defined in section 208 of the Act shall have not less than 3.5 mm of tread depth across the surface of the tire in contact with the road.
So, if you're driving without winter tires in an area they are required or have tires that have less than 3.5 mm of tread depth and the police stop you, you may receive at fine.
Chances are very good if you are without winter tires in an area they are required or have worn out tires you will crash. Aside from the police giving you a ticket with a small fine, one may face being sued or perhaps if it's a commercial vehicle accident, some labour code issues will arise.
Property damage or monetary loss is a concern. Of more concern is someone may sustain injury or death.
Transport Canada is a good source for information around winter tires and driving in winter conditions.
Prevent problems before they occur: Top 10 tips
1. Get your vehicle ready for winter in the fall.
2. Install four matching winter tires.
3. Pack an emergency kit.
4. Learn and practice winter driving techniques before you need them.
5. Plan your trip, check road and weather conditions.
6. Remove all snow from your vehicle before each trip.
7. Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather.
8. Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads.
9. Travel with a fully charged cell phone.
10. SLOW DOWN and WEAR your seatbelt.
Studded tires are permitted between October 1 and April 30th.
For information on road conditions contact Drive BC ph: 1-800-550-4997 or www.drivebc.ca
Get a Grip... For Safety's Sake – USE WINTER TIRES.