Winter tires mandatory on many B.C. roads as of October 1

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      It's that tiring time of year again.

      B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure sent out a reminder today (October 1) to all drivers and vehicle owners that winter-tire requirements are now in effect.

      Although all highways in the north and the Interior now require such tires (in good condition, with a minimum 3.5-millimetre tread depth), only some roads in the South Coast area and on Vancouver Island are subject to the condition.

      B.C. government

      You will need to have winter tires on sections of some roads on the Island—including the Malahat highway and highways 4,14, and 28—as well as on the Sea to Sky Highway on the Lower Mainland.

      The release contained the following definition of the two types of approved/recommended winter tires:

      "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. Drivers are encouraged to choose their tires based on the region and conditions in which they regularly drive."

      The release also reminded commercial-vehicle operators that their trucks must carry snow chains on most B.C. highways outside the Lower Mainland and most of Vancouver Island from October 1 to March 31. Some routes over mountain passes and in remote high-snowfall areas require vehicles to carry chains until April 30.

      B.C. government

      For pictures of the tire symbols and descriptions of four types of winter tires, go here. For a map of the highways requiring winter tires and chains provincewide, go here.