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Ontario announces winter tire insurance discount, expanded service for tracking plows

The Ontario government says a winter tire discount and expanded service for tracking plows will help keep roads safer this winter season. .
The Ontario government says a winter tire discount and expanded service for tracking plows will help keep roads safer this winter season. . Steven Del Duca / Twitter

The Ontario government says it wants to make it easier for drivers to stay safe on the roads this winter.

A number of winter initiatives were announced in Toronto on Thursday to help drivers prepare for the upcoming season.

Drivers are reminded that insurance companies must offer a winter tire insurance discount for all drivers in the province, which can reduce auto insurance rates by two and five per cent on average.

READ MORE: Winter tires important, but so are the right rims

Installing four winter tires can help with better traction, handling and breaking in snow and ice.

“Ontario has some of the safest roads in North America and our government is committed to upholding the highest winter maintenance standards,” said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca in a statement.

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WATCH: How to prepare your car for winter driving

How to prepare your car for winter driving
How to prepare your car for winter driving

The provincial government also announced on Thursday that it has expanded the Track My Plow service to monitor the locations of plows on provincial highways. The service has now been expanded to all 20 of Ontario’s winter maintenance contract areas.

More than 1,100 pieces of winter maintenance equipment can be sent to provincial highways to help fight winter storms.

READ MORE: Winter weather forecast: What Canadians can expect from coast to coast

Toronto MPP of Beaches-East York Arthur Potts encourages everyone to stay safe this winter by planning ahead and being a responsible driver.

“If you find yourself driving in winter weather, slow down and use extra caution. It’s better to be a few minutes late than to risk your life by driving too fast for the conditions,” he said.

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READ MORE: 5 worst winter driving habits

This winter, drivers can also use a new feature of “forecasted road conditions” on the Ontario 511 service. The tool predicts road conditions based on forecasted weather to help drivers plan their routes, and also includes access to traffic and weather cameras.

The government said Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America with the number of driving-related fatalities down 48 per cent between 1995 and 2014.