British Columbians driving certain B.C. highways must equip their vehicles with winter tires, but those who do not, may not necessarily have to fear paying a fine.
According to information from ICBC, in 2017 authorities issued exactly one fine under s. 208.2 of the Motor Vehicle Act in all of British Columbia.
It states the minister responsible for the administration of the Transport Act “may 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.”
While winter tires are not mandatory provincewide, they are required on a majority of B.C. highways, including the Malahat and highways 4, 14 and 28 on Vancouver Island. Drivers without proper winter tires in good condition driving on designated B.C. highways can receive a fine of $109. To ensure compliance — as it is — the ministry has posted 389 winter tire signs on provincial highways.
Overall, authorities issued 285 contravention tickets involving tires as per the Motor Vehicle Act, in all of British Columbia.
According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, about 60 per cent of B.C. drivers now own winter tires, compared to 38 per cent in 2014, when the provincial government introduced the current rule concerning winter tires.