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You can get slapped with a $121 fine for not having winter tires on most B.C. highways

Winter tires are required on most routes in B.C. starting Oct. 1.
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The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced that winter tires are required on most routes in B.C. starting October 1, 2021.

While there isn't any snow on the ground in Metro Vancouver, locals should ensure they are prepared for wintry conditions in the province starting today.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced that winter tires are required on most routes in B.C. starting Oct. 1.

As winter conditions continue, the ministry advises that sudden changes in elevation and weather can make highway conditions unpredictable. As such, the provincial law will remain in effect on most routes from Oct. 1 through April 30. 

"Rain, slush, snow, ice and cold temperatures are all part of winter driving. The improved traction offered by winter tires can make the difference between safely driving on winter roads and being involved in a potentially serious motor vehicle incident," explains a news release. 

Winter tires are required for travel on:

  • all highways in the North;
  • all highways in the Interior;
  • sections of some highways on the South Coast, including the Sea to Sky Highway; and
  • sections of some highways on Vancouver Island, including the Malahat and highways 4, 14 and 28.

In B.C., appropriate winter tires are defined as those with either the M+S (mud and snow) or mountain/snowflake symbol. They must also be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres.

Sections of highways requiring winter tires or chains onboard are marked with roadside signs, and drivers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly equipped for the terrain. If they fail to do so, they may be subject to a fine.

Passenger vehicles not equipped with winter tires are subject to a $121 fine, while commercial vehicles not carrying chains can get slapped with a fine of $196. In addition, commercial vehicles bypassing an active chain up area are subject to a fine of $598.

Drivers can check out the designated winter tire and chain routes online with Drive BC.