Malahat, British Columbia (Michaelia/Instagram)

Winter weather is just around the corner and that means B.C.’s winter tire rules are now effect, as of Thursday, Oct. 1.

The Ministry of Transportation has issued a reminder to the public to install winter tires on their vehicles if they plan to travel on certain highways such as the Malahat, Highway 14, Highway 4 and Highway 28.

In British Columbia, winter tires are defined as those labelled with either the Mountain Snowflake symbol or the Mud and Snow (M+S) symbol.

Tires marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall offer the best traction on snow and ice and in cold weather.

Tires marked with M+S (mud and snow) offer better traction than summer tires but are less effective than mountain/snowflake tires in severe winter conditions.

The tires must be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm and must be used on designated highways Oct. 1 to March 31.

Signs are posted to identify those highways where winter tires are required for lighter cars and trucks, and chains are required for heavy commercial trucks.

These routes are generally located approaching high mountain passes and highways which see significant winter conditions and where conditions can change from rain to snow very quickly.

Drivers planning to travel through these designated routes are encouraged to “know before you go” and check DriveBC.ca for the latest for latest highway conditions, highway cams, route forecasts and delay information.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/driving/winter/images/signs.png

What are the fines

Drivers who don’t have proper winter tires on their vehicle on the designated routes can receive a fine of $121, and those who don’t have the minimum tread depth on their tires (3.5mm) on the designated routes can receive a fine of $109.

More information on winter tire and chain requirements in B.C., can be found here.