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Reminder for drivers: Winter tires now mandatory on many B.C. highways

Winter tires B.C.

Winter is still months away, but winter tires or chains will be required on most highways through British Columbia starting Friday.

The provincial Ministry of Transportation says the rules will be enforced mostly by police or ministry officials, and that drivers who do not comply could face a $121 fine and have their trip interrupted.

Others may be turned back for non-compliance.

The ministry says the fines can be applied after Oct. 1, regardless of whether there's actually any snow on the ground. The weather may be clear and warm, but drivers can still be fined through April 30 if they aren't adhering to signage.

In most areas, winter tire and chain rules are in effect until the end of April, but on select highways that do not include mountain passes or aren't in high snowfall areas, the restriction lifts on the last day of March.

A public document posted by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia shows dozens of tickets were handed out for improperly equipped vehicles in 2020, though it was not immediately clear how many were tied specifically to snow tires and chains.

The ministry website recommends using four matched winter tires and says both the all-season "mud and snow" (M+S) tires and the three-peaked "mountain/snowflake" tires meet the legal winter tire requirements in B.C.

“It is the responsibility of all drivers to ensure they have the correct winter tires on designated routes,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth told CTV News in a written statement on Tuesday. “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.”

More information on which routes require winter tires and/or chains can be found on the transportation ministry website Top Stories

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