WINTERIZE YOUR VEHICLE THIS WINTERDec 21 2015
Thinking of hitting the slopes this season or looking to get away to your favourite winter resort over the holidays? Remember that the BC Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new regulation requiring motorists to be equipped with winter tires if they expect to be driving on rural highways or mountain passes. These include highways in the North, the Interior, the South Coast (Sea to Sky highway), and Vancouver Island (such as the Malahat and Highway 4). Drivers must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout the province from October 1 to March 31.
To be considered a winter tire, a Mountain Snowflake or an M+S tire must have at least 3.5 mm of tread depth across the whole tire. Winter tires improve driving safety by providing better traction in snow, slush and icy conditions. It is also important to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather. Tractor trailers are required to carry chains on designated routes but are encouraged to keep them on board at all times.
Check out these quick tips provided by the BC Ministry of Transportation on how you can get you and your car winter ready:
- 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.
- 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 cell phone for emergency situations.
Check out the BC Government website to find out which highways require winter tires and what you can do to prep for the winter season.