Snow tire season is upon us

Mud and snow designation added to snow tire definition as snow tire season begins

  • Oct. 4, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Dalton Arcand

 

It’s a sure sign that winter is creeping up on us, as snow tire season officially began in B.C. on October 1.

That’s the day when regulatory signage regarding snow tire useage becomes effective in the province. The signage is commonly seen on Highway 3 and 3A  leading in and out of Keremeos.

Although winter tires are not mandatory in B.C., keep in mind that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate them to be required on certain roads and highways. This typically happens during the fall and winter months in northern B.C. and the southern Interior.

If you’re driving on these roads without winter tires, police can ticket you and make you turn back.

ICBC recommends winter tires because you are less likely to slide on the road. All season tires begin to lose their elasticity and grip on the road at temperatures below 7°C, according to Transport Canada.

At Keremeos tire shops, business is picking up as the annual tire swap  takes place.

At K Mountain Auto, owner Sean Hitchen has been expanding his tire lines over the past few years and this year is offering expanded services to Keremeos residents. Now a Signature Tire Cente, Hitchen can also provide aluminum and steel rims as well as tire storage between seasons.

New to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure policy this year is the addition of “M&S” – mud and snow tires to the definition of snow tires. The regulation now reads as follows:

“Between October 1 and March 31, all passenger vehicles are required to use M+S or mountain/snowflake tires and all commercial trucks are required to carry chains on sections of most major highways.”

Driving without winter tires will not void a driver’s insurance if a claim is made, nor will it mean you’re automatically at-fault in a crash. However, if you get in a crash where winter tires could have helped, not having them may affect whether—or how much—you are at fault.

Lower Similkameen drivers should be aware of two signs in particular:

– a regulatory sign that says “Use winter tires or carry chains beyond this point October 1-April 30” when placed on a highway will prohibit vehicles from being driven or operated on a highway that are not equipped with winter tires or chains beyond that point when enforced by the police, ministry or other enforcement officials.

– a warning sign that says “Winter tires or carry chains October 1 – April 30” is placed on a highway to inform motorists that winter driving conditions can be expected, and motorists should therefore be properly equipped with appropriate winter safety equipment. Motorists not reasonably prepared may be prevented from proceeding on highways with this signage posted.

ICBC also recommends that all four wheels be equipped with winter tires. Studs are permitted between October 1 and April 30. Use of studded tires outside of this period may result in a fine.

Regulations limit tires to 130 studs each for vehicles weighing less than 4,600 kg, or 175 studs each for vehicles weighing more than 4,600 kg.

It’s important to note, drivers can only use studded tires on front wheels if they are  also using them on rear wheels. This restriction on using studded tires on the front doesn’t apply to trucks that weigh more than 9,100 kg and can be equipped with snow plows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip appeals for living-donor kidney transplant

Okanagan Nation Alliance Grand Chief has chronic kidney disease

Column: Penticton Regional Hospital returning to ‘new normal’

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s how important good health is in our lives.

Olympic athlete sends shout-out to Cawston Primary students

Canadian Olympic sprinter Khamica Bingham participated in one of the school’s long-time traditions

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

In photos: Modified, yet traditional graduation gives Penticton graduates a sense of normalcy

Students around Penticton take part in pre-recorded graduation ceremonies

Second video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows Mountie punching suspect at least 10 times

The officer involved in the incident has been reassigned to administrative duties

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Flooding prompts closure of parks along Shuswap and Mara lakes

Boaters asked to respect No Wake policy protecting properties along water

Black Lives Matter protester stands alone in Vernon

Rumblings of a citywide protest continue across social media platforms

Cyclist in serious condition after being hit by dump truck in Kelowna

The woman sustained injuries to one of her legs, according to RCMP

Most Read