Victoria Report- Get ready for winter driving

Make sure your car and its driver are winter-ready.

That familiar nip is in the air, which means another South Cariboo winter is on its way.

Is your vehicle ready?

Winter tire rules are now in effect. Since Oct. 1, motorists must equip their vehicles with winter tires if they’re travelling in certain areas of the province, including the Interior and the North.

I want everyone to be 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.

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.

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.

Winter tires improve safety by providing better traction in snow, slush and icy conditions – which can happen at any time around Ashcroft and Cache Creek at this time of year. Drivers are also reminded to check tire air pressure frequently, because 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 of Transportation and Infrastructure recommends that commercial vehicle drivers carry chains at all times.

In addition to winter tires, here are some more tips for safe winter driving:

Get your vehicle ready for winter in the fall.

Wear your seatbelt.

Drive to the road conditions – during times of bad weather or limited visibility, slow down.

Learn and practise winter driving techniques before you need them.

Don’t drive under the influence.

Keep your gas tank topped up.

Pack an emergency kit.

Plan your trip and tell your friends and family.

Check road and weather conditions on DriveBC.

Remove all snow from your vehicle before each trip.

Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather.

Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads.

Travel with a fully charged cellphone for emergency situations.

Winter in the South Cariboo is magical, but it can also be dangerous on the roads.

Having proper tires, planning ahead and driving according to road conditions will help keep you safe when driving in tough winter conditions. Please drive carefully!

MLA Jackie Tegart

Fraser Nicola

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