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Speaking of highways…

While many  who regularly travel interior and northern routes in the provinces are more than likely up to speed on the new rules governing the use of winter tires, I’m finding a lot of people in the lower mainland have either forgotten or aren’t aware at all.

As of October 1st, certain routes in BC now require winter tires and/or chains – it used to be only higher elevation routes but the expanded coverage can impact your travel. You can be turned back, or face a fine up to $120.

This impacts travel locally and on the island for those travelling to Squamish/Whistler, past Hope and many highways on Vancouver Island.

You can  find the maps of what routes are covered at this link:

Hopefully motorists won’t get fined immediately if they aren’t aware, but the need for an additional set of tires can be a costly investment for pensioners and those without resources to spare. And as a friend on the island points out, some of the routes are questionable as to the need for them. ( Sooke- Renfrew)

Safe travels as snow is potentially forecast locally here for the weekend. 🙂




  1. A very timely post! we just got our winter tires put on this am (on rims this time so it will be less hassle to do next year )!! Drive safely everyone.


  2. I can only think of two highways on Vancouver Island where you’d need winter tires… Highway 4 between Coombs and Port Alberni and the Malahat.


  3. Obviously the Central Planners (probably compelled by the latent threat of litigation, omnipotent, out-of-control courts and mandatory insurance schemes) have decided all of this for our benefit!…yet another nanny-state interference in people’s lives – not to mention an artificial subsidization of the tire industry…


  4. BUT… You cannot have a law, especially one of safety, compromised by rules for one and not all.
    Yes there are highways on VI that have potential for snow.
    And all the cars on VI and the lower mainland may be required to travel on them.
    Hence at the very least, ALL SEASON TIRES should be installed on the cars.
    Naturally I in Vanderhoof have two sets of tires. And I think I will have them a long time seeing I travel so little. But I have them anyway.
    The alternative is park the car in the winter months while snow might fall. I cannot imagine a cop ticketing anyone during the annual monsoons.


  5. I think that this “Notice’ is actually a down-grade statement, from “Snowflake” true winter tires required previously, to “Snowflake” + “All-Season” M + S tires allowed…


    • You are partially correct – this story spells it out a bit more concisely on how the new government regulations work – the areas with actual designations are still expanded however and if you dont have that M+S on your tires, you’ll be in trouble.


  6. Thanks for the heads up Laila. Sooke to Renfrew is pretty much the same climate as Tofino to Ucleulet, so that doesn’t make sense, meteorlogically. We are talking rainforest here, at sea level. Comox to Mt Washington should be mandatory. The Alberni Highway. The ‘Hat


  7. if t is snowing you ought to have the appropriate tires or not be on the road. too many accidents are caused by people who do not have the proper tires. If you can’t afford them, it is unfortunate but it does not give you the right to run into me, when it is snowing.

    Comox to Mt Washington doesn’t have to be mandatory. You don’t need snows in most cases until you get to the base of the mountain. Most of the Comox Valley simply doesn’t have snow, except for a few days per yr Then of course, all should be required to have the appropriate tires, or stay off the road. When it does snow, in the Valley, Cumberland will have far more snow than Courtenay, and that is what you travel through from Como to the mountain.

    Even when the mountain has had 12 ft of snow, there isn’t any snow in the valley, only when you approach the mountain.


  8. I’m amazed its taken this long for the province to enact this law. Most other Provinces have mandatory winter tire laws that are enforced either after the first snowfall or Dec1st. Which ever comes first.
    And (I cant believe Im saying this) e.a.f. is right.!
    If it makes the roads safer. So be it.
    The law is saving idiots from themselves. Driving isnt a right, its a privledge.


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