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

A West Vancouver developer has applied to the City of Courtenay to construct a 39-unit strata development at 2650 Copperfield Rd. Scott Stanfield photo Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay council gives second reading to contentious development proposal

A West Vancouver developer has applied to the City of Courtenay to construct a 39-unit strata development at 2650 Copperfield Rd. Scott Stanfield photo Scott Stanfield photo

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Some of the affidavits filed come from family members of Casa Loma and Comox Valley Seniors Village residents in Courtenay. Record file photo
Courtenay seniors’ homes included in class action suit

Plaintiffs in early stage of applying for class certification on suit

Untreated gypsy moth populations can cause significant damage to forests, farms, orchards and urban trees. File photo
Aerial gypsy moth control spraying scheduled for Courtenay

The aerial-spray treatments to prevent gypsy moth infestations are scheduled for the… Continue reading

MARS can now offer private spaces for its orphaned fawns. Photo by Pearl MacKenzie.
Housing natural enemies a challenge for Merville’s Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society

Jane Sproull Thomson Special to Black Press If you’ve ever had a… Continue reading

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read