The province’s annual winter tire requirements are now in effect.
As of Oct. 1, winter tires are mandatory for all vehicles on most British Columbia highways — including the Coquihalla and Trans-Canada highways that connect Kamloops to the Lower Mainland until spring.
In B.C., appropriate winter tires are defined as those with either the M+S (mud and snow) or mountain/snowflake symbol, in good condition and with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres.
Tires marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall offer the best traction on snow and ice and in cold weather. Tires marked with M+S offer better traction than summer tires, but are less effective than mountain/snowflake tires in severe winter conditions.
While winter tires are not mandatory provincewide, they are required on a majority of B.C. highways. Drivers without the proper winter tires in good condition driving on designated B.C. highways can receive a fine of $121.
When setting out, drivers are reminded to slow down and use caution. To plan ahead, check online at drivebc.ca
Also effective on Oct. 1, commercial vehicle operators are required to carry chains on most routes in B.C., as indicated by roadside signs. Chains are not required on the Lower Mainland and most of Vancouver Island.
Winter tires and chain requirements are in effect on most designated highways in B.C. from Oct. 1 to March 31. For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date is extended until April 30 to account for early spring snowfall. These highways are marked with regulatory signs.