COQUIHALLA (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s transportation minister is hoping some changes to winter tire rules should lead to fewer crash-related closures on busy mountain highways like the Coquihalla this winter.
Winter tires or chains are mandatory on most B.C. highways from Oct. 1 to March 31, but starting this year, drivers using some mountain passes and highways will need them until April 30.
And starting Oct. 1, commercial truck drivers caught without chains will also face higher fines: $196 for not carrying chains, and $598 for bypassing an active chain up area.
Claire Trevena says making highways safer is the goal.
“Making sure that we have that safe approach to our highway, and we’ve recently [decided] to back up all the work we’ve been doing on the regulations to make sure that trucks are chained up. We have now increased the fine.”
She says nine of ten extended closures last winter on the Coquihalla involved commercial trucks.
Appropriate winter tires have either the M+S or mountain/snowflake symbol in good condition, and a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimeters. Mountain/snowflake tires have the best traction in snow and ice in cold weather, while mud/snow tires have better traction than summer tires, but are less effective in severe winter weather.
Drivers of passenger vehicles caught without appropriate tires may be fined $121. Find more about winter driving requirements for B.C.’s highways here.