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Are winter tires mandatory in BC?

As of Nov. 15, 2008, Quebec drivers have to equip their vehicles with snow tires from that day each year through to April 15. Offenders will be required to pay a fine ranging from $200 to $300. No demerit points will be deducted for such an offense, however.

Quebec was the first province to introduce such rules, though Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia all have similar laws requiring drivers to use winter tires to navigate snowy roads.

What about in the rest of Canada? In the west, ICBC says that while winter tires are not mandatory, they are recommended.

“In snowy conditions, driving without proper winter tires may not be the wisest or safest decision, but it does not affect a customer’s insurance coverage or eligibility to make a claim,”

However, ICBC said that driving without winter tires will not void your insurance in the event of a claim or mean that you are automatically at-fault for a crash. If you get in a crash where winter tires could have helped, it may be a deciding factor in determining whether or how much you are at-fault.

Keep in mind that BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can also designate that winter tires are required on certain roads and highways. This typically happens during the fall and winter months in Northern B.C. and the Southern Interior. If you are driving on these roads without winter tires, police can ticket you and make you turn back.

Should winter tires be mandatory in Canada?

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Comments (4)

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  1. Chris says:

    Depends on where one lives – if you live in the lower mainland of BC, probably not. The rest of Canada however…

  2. Bruce says:

    The proposed snow tire “law” is another example of the public saying “there’s danger out there and the government should protect me!” Well the government does protect us but there must be a line in the sand somewhere.
    Since some trees could blow down in a snowstorm/windstorm should it be legislated that roadside trees should be properly cabled to prevent toppling over? Should the owners of non-cabled trees pay extra for liabiltiy insurance? Should they be fined/penalized?
    We are expected as earthlings to be aware of risks and danger in our society/environment and take appropriate action or non-action. Since we live in a free society we enjoy the privilege of making appropriate decisions.

  3. Gardner says:

    Even if not legal there should be an incentive to install winter tires. How about a discount on my insurance?

  4. Damian says:

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