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Winter tires mandatory on most B.C. highways starting Tuesday

John Massa installing winter tires at Garage Donati & Massa.
John Massa installing winter tires at Garage Donati & Massa. Tim Sargeant/Global News

British Columbians travelling most of the province’s highways will need to have winter tires equipped, starting Tuesday.

Motorists driving on those highways without the correct tires risk a possible fine of $109 and could be turned back from their destination.

Approved winter tires in B.C. either have the M+S (mud and snow) or three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol. Winter tires must also have at least 3.5 millimetres of tread.

READ MORE: B.C. government introduces stricter winter driving tire chain-up rules

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance, a coalition of organizations including WorkSafeBC, ICBC and the Justice Institute of B.C., is also launching its annual Shift Into Winter information campaign in an effort to reduce casualties on the road.

WATCH: Winter driving safety tips

Winter driving safety tips
Winter driving safety tips

The alliance says, historically, crashes due to driving too fast for the conditions spike about 87 per cent between October and December.

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It says drivers should get a pre-season maintenance check up on their vehicles, keep an emergency kit with them on the road, plan and check their routes ahead of time and slow down when the weather deteriorates.

Approved winter tires for B.C. highways

The three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol on the side of the tire

These winter tires offer the best traction on snow and ice as well as in cold weather.

They are also known as mountain/snowflake or alpine tires.

The mud and snow symbol on the side of the tire

These winter tires offer better traction than summer tires but are less effective than mountain and snowflake tires on snow and ice or in cold weather.

 

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Where winter tires are required

B.C.’s winter tire regulations apply from Oct. 1 to March 30 on the routes depicted below, though they have been extended to April in certain mountain passes.

Trucks travelling these routes must also carry chains with them.