On Oct. 1 most highways around B.C. begin requiring the use of winter tires or chains to be carried in vehicles traversing them. The signs are now up on those highways, which include Highway 3 and Highway 95 near Cranbrook.
The B.C. Motor Vehicle Act section 208 defines a winter tire as a “tire intended principally for winter use, and that provides, or is designed to provide, adequate traction in snow or mud.”
ICBC’s website notes that though winter tires are not mandatory on B.C. highways, on those roads designated by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to require winter tires or chains, police can ticket you for non-compliance or require you to return back the way you came.
ICBC also writes that insurance isn’t void if you are in an accident with non-winter tires, but it may effect the amount paid out.
October 1 is a good time for the switch over to winter tires, which perform better in the types of winter driving conditions that we face in this part of B.C., such as extreme cold that can cause an all-season or summer tire to harden, according to the RCMP’s webpage on tires.
Winter tires usually have deeper tread and are usually made from softer rubber. That helps keep traction on icy surfaces as compared to all-season and summer tires.