Are your tires ready for winter roads?

Some "all season" tires are good enough for winter roads in B.C., but not all of them

The North American symbol for a winter tire is a mountain with snowflake. All-season tires with 'M+S' for 'mud and snow' are also acceptable for restricted roads in B.C.

Some “all season” tires are good enough for winter roads in B.C., but not all of them.

That’s one reason why Transportation Minister Todd Stone has added the topic of tires to a provincial review of highway safety that includes speed limits.

“It’s been almost 40 years since the current definition of a winter tire was actually changed, and tire technology has advanced dramatically, particularly over the last five to 10 years,” Stone said Tuesday.

With the popularity of all-season tires and all-wheel-drive vehicles, Stone said there is some confusion about what is acceptable for requirements that took effect Oct. 1 on routes that have winter conditions. Those routes have signs advising drivers to use winter tires or carry chains, and police may turn drivers away if they are not properly equipped.

True winter tires have a symbol of a mountain and snowflake on the sidewall. All-season tires with the “M+S” mark to indicate traction in mud and snow are also permissible, but all tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.

A quick test can be done using a dime. Point Her Majesty’s head downward and insert the dime in the tire tread. If the top of the head remains visible, the tire is too worn to qualify for winter conditions. Drivers have a choice of investing in new tires or buying a set of chains.

The transportation ministry has a website that includes maps of routes affected by winter restrictions, and tips on how to use tire chains.

Stone said that with 60 per cent of B.C. residents living in areas where winter conditions are not common, he is not considering making winter tires mandatory for all vehicles.

Just Posted

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read