It’s the hottest spot in town, and motorists are willing to say whatever it takes to get inside the bay doors of tire shops across Fredericton.
“Oh, they got a trip coming up on the weekend, or they had a slide in the snow storm or just stuff like that. Pretty much [heard all the excuses], I’ve been doing this a long time,” said tire expert Brian Drummond.
Shops have been pushing for legislation to make winter tires mandatory, not just here in New Brunswick but across Canada for a number of years citing safety concerns, and now the New Brunswick Medical Society is on board (NBMS).
They would like the government to first make snow tires mandatory for public taxis, buses, rental cars and government vehicles before enacting a mandatory requirement for all vehicles.
“When I do have an opportunity to ask my patients around whether or not they were using winter tires, it’s not uncommon for them to actually admit they were using summer and all seasons, and I’d like to think some of those accidents could have been prevented,” said NBMS president Dr. Serge Melanson, an emergency-room physician.
“Winter tires are manufactured to perform better in cold temperatures and on snow and ice. They are one more tool we can all take advantage of to help reduce the number of weather-related accidents and keep New Brunswickers safe.”
Tire shops across the capital city are working around the clock to help customers switch to snow tires, and in fact, many are booking as far away as the end of the month after Old Man Winter came roaring in on Tuesday.
“One of the most stressful drives I’ve ever done was yesterday, getting my car down here during that whole snowstorm,” explains customer Blake Steeves, who’s been at the shop two days in a row to help get his parents’ tires switched over.
WATCH: Why winter tires are important
A recent IPSOS poll shows that one in five drivers in Atlantic Canada is still not using winter tires.
Quebec is the only province that requires winter tire use on all vehicles.
The NBMS would also like the province to consider additional policy changes that would make it cheaper to put snow tires on, similar to what’s being done in both Ontario and Manitoba.