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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eighteen unattended cannabis plants discovered near Saanich trail

Plants cannot legally be grown in public spaces

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

One man in hospital with severe injuries after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Most Read