Roads are clear and daytime temperatures are in the 20s, but chain-up and winter tire regulations are still in effect on Vancouver Island roads.
For passenger vehicles, all-season, all-weather and winter tires meet the regulations, but tires must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres and display the mountain/snowflake logo or an M+S symbol. Logos with three-peaked mountain symbols are recommended for cold weather driving because they have better traction on snow and ice.
Drivers of passenger vehicles not equipped with winter tires can face a $121 fine and as of 2019, drivers of commercial vehicles not carrying chains can be fined $196.
Penalties got steeper for commercial vehicles bypassing active chain-up areas too, where drivers can face a $598-fine.
While fines went up, the weight threshold for carry and use traction devices was lowered in 2019.
New rules mandate that commercial vehicles weighing more than 5,000 kilograms must use chains – steel, cable or automatic – on at least two tires. Socks or wheel sanders can also be used if the vehicle isn’t equipped with winter tires.
Routes where winter tires or chains are mandatory are marked with signs.
– With files from Paul Clarke.
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