Are your tires ready for winter roads?

Some "all season" tires are good enough for winter roads in B.C., but not all of them

The North American symbol for a winter tire is a mountain with snowflake. All-season tires with 'M+S' for 'mud and snow' are also acceptable for restricted roads in B.C.

The North American symbol for a winter tire is a mountain with snowflake. All-season tires with 'M+S' for 'mud and snow' are also acceptable for restricted roads in B.C.

Some “all season” tires are good enough for winter roads in B.C., but not all of them.

That’s one reason why Transportation Minister Todd Stone has added the topic of tires to a provincial review of highway safety that includes speed limits.

“It’s been almost 40 years since the current definition of a winter tire was actually changed, and tire technology has advanced dramatically, particularly over the last five to 10 years,” Stone said Tuesday.

With the popularity of all-season tires and all-wheel-drive vehicles, Stone said there is some confusion about what is acceptable for requirements that took effect Oct. 1 on routes that have winter conditions. Those routes have signs advising drivers to use winter tires or carry chains, and police may turn drivers away if they are not properly equipped.

True winter tires have a symbol of a mountain and snowflake on the sidewall. All-season tires with the “M+S” mark to indicate traction in mud and snow are also permissible, but all tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.

A quick test can be done using a dime. Point Her Majesty’s head downward and insert the dime in the tire tread. If the top of the head remains visible, the tire is too worn to qualify for winter conditions. Drivers have a choice of investing in new tires or buying a set of chains.

The transportation ministry has a website that includes maps of routes affected by winter restrictions, and tips on how to use tire chains.

Stone said that with 60 per cent of B.C. residents living in areas where winter conditions are not common, he is not considering making winter tires mandatory for all vehicles.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police and ambulance crews were at First Avenue and Murray Street on in 2017 after a cyclist was injured in a crash. Kevin Mills photo.
District of Mission seeks public input on transportation planning

Online survey launched where residents can pinpoint traffic-issue areas in the community

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Hit-and-run driver knocks pedestrian into ditch in Abbotsford

Woman was walking in area of Harris Road and Riverside Street on Monday

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Abbotsford residents gather in the Clearbrook area on Monday to demonstrate against what they say is unfairt treatment by the Indian government to farmers in the Punjab region of that country. (Maan Sidhu photo)
Abbotsford residents gather to protest unfair treatment of India farmers

Locals believe new bills will devastate small farms, demand farmers be allowed to protest peacefully

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read