As of Oct. 1, drivers on designated highways (including Highway 5 through the North Thompson, were required to have snow tires with a mountain snowflake (shown) or mud and snow symbol on them.

Winter tire requirements began Oct. 1

Drivers required to have winter tires on their vehicles if on designated highways

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

VICTORIA – With the days getting shorter and the fall ushering in cooler weather, motorists are reminded that winter tire regulations will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2017.

Drivers are required to have winter tires installed on their vehicles if they are travelling on designated highways around the province.

“People may experience sunny and warm conditions when they set out, but run into heavy rain, snow or sleet along the way,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “That’s why it’s important to ensure your vehicle is properly equipped with snow tires with the Mountain Snowflake or Mud and Snow symbol, along with good solid treads.”

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In B.C., winter tires are defined as those labelled with either the Mountain Snowflake symbol or the Mud and Snow (M+S) symbol. This symbol is located on the sidewall of the tire. Winter tires must be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm, and must be used starting Oct. 1.

Signs are posted to identify these designated highways. Motorists will generally see these signs as they approach highway mountain passes or highways that see significant winter conditions or where there is a substantial increase in elevation.

“As we head into the winter season and unpredictable driving conditions, I want to remind everyone to be safe behind the wheel with B.C.’s annual winter tire rules coming into effect,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “It is the responsibility of all drivers to ensure they have the correct winter tires on designated routes – this, along with other safe driving behaviours such as slowing down, putting your phone out of reach, and not drinking and driving, can make a big difference in getting everyone home safely.”

These requirements are only for motorists travelling on designated routes. More than 60% of the province does not experience regular snow conditions; therefore, the ministry is not requiring all drivers to equip their vehicles with winter tires.

Drivers who don’t have the proper winter tires on their vehicle on designated routes can receive a fine of $121.

Those who don’t have the minimum tread depth on their tires (3.5mm) on the designated routes can receive a fine of $109.

Learn More:

To see which highways require winter tires after Oct. 1, click here:

For more information on winter tire and chain requirements in B.C., go to here:

For information on winter driving preparation and tips, visit the “Shift Into Winter” website here:

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