NEWS - Amendments to Winter Tire Rules in Effect, September 22, 2015

BC LogoEffective September 22, 2015, the following amendments to BC's winter tire rules have been put into effect:

Motor Vehicle Act:

Winter tires and traction devices

208  (1) For the purpose of this section, "winter tire" means a tire that meets the standards and specifications prescribed for winter tires.

(2) The minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act may, by public notice or by placing signs, prohibit any vehicle or a class of vehicles from being driven or operated on a highway, unless the vehicle is equipped with chains, winter tires or traction devices, or a combination of these, that the minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act considers adequate in view of prevailing road conditions.

(3) A public notice or sign under subsection (2) may provide differently in relation to specified dates, prevailing weather conditions or any other criteria the minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act considers necessary or advisable.

(4) A person who drives or operates a vehicle in contravention of a prohibition made under subsection (2) commits an offence.

The changes allow for:

  • amends the definition of "winter tire";
  • authorizes the minister responsible for the Transportation Act to prohibit driving or operating a vehicle or a class of vehicles without chains, winter tires or traction devices, or a combination of these, on a rural or arterial highway;
  • provides that it is an offence to drive or operate a vehicle without required chains, winter tires or traction devices.

Section 209 is amended

(a) in subsection (1) by striking out "chains, cleats, ribs, clamps, flanges or other devices" in paragraph (b) and substituting "chains, studs, cleats, ribs, clamps, flanges or other traction devices" and by adding the following paragraphs:

(b.1) prescribing standards and specifications for winter tires;

(b.2) regulating types of chains or other traction devices; , and

(b) by adding the following subsection:

(1.1) Without limiting section 210 (7), a regulation under subsection (1) (b.1) of this section may incorporate by reference, with or without modification, in whole or in part, a standard or specification or an approval, certification or designation associated with a standard or specification of or published by a national or international industry association, as amended from time to time before or after the regulation is made.

These changes allow for:

  • authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe standards and specifications for winter tires and to regulate types of chains or other traction devices.

Motor Vehicle Act Regulations

"chains" means 2 circular metal loops connected by strands of steel links, of any shape or pattern, that can be placed with one loop on each side of a tire to increase the friction between the tire and a road surface covered with ice or snow;

"traction device" means

(a) in the case of a commercial motor vehicle, any of the following, if designed by a manufacturer to increase the friction between a tire and a road surface covered with ice or snow:

(i) subject to section 7.164, studs;

(ii) a wheel sander;

(iii) automatic tire chains;

(iv) a textile tire cover;

(v) 2 circular metal loops connected by strands of steel cable, if both outside tires of a power drive axle of the commercial motor vehicle are equipped with chains;

(vi) chains;

(b) in the case of any other motor vehicle, any device designed by a manufacturer to increase the friction between a tire and a road surface covered with ice or snow.

Winter Tires

7.162 (1) A winter tire under section 208 of the Act must have at least 3.5 mm of tread depth.

(2) A winter tire under section 208 of the Act must

(a) when tested in accordance with section 5 (4) (a) of the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations (Canada) meet or exceed the traction index prescribed by that section, or

(b) meet the specifications adopted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association to be labelled on a sidewall with the letters "M" and "S".

(3) A winter tire under section 208 of the Act must be labelled on a sidewall by the manufacturer with either of the following:

(a) the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol as shown below:

Winter Tire Symbol

(b) the letters "M" and "S"

Chains

7.163 A reference to chains in a public notice or sign under section 208 of the Act refers to chains or traction devices.

Studs

7.164 (1) A person must not use studs as a traction device on tires unless the studs

(a) do not protrude more than 2.0 mm from the tread or traction surface of a tire,

(b) do not have a hollow centre, and

(c) are safely and securely embedded in the tire by the manufacturer or a person in the business of selling tires so as not to cause damage to the roadway.

(2) A person must not use studded tires on the front wheels of a motor vehicle unless the back wheels of the motor vehicle have studded tires.

(3) Despite subsection (1)

(a), a person may use studs that protrude more than 2.0 mm but less than 3.5 mm from the tread or traction surface of a tire if (a) the tire was manufactured on or before August 31, 2016, and

(b) the total number of studs in the tire does not exceed the following:

(i) 130 studs if the motor vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 4 600 kg or less;

(ii) 175 studs if the motor vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of more than 4 600 kg.

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