Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena urges drivers to prioritize road safety Wednesday with the ‘Shift Into Winter’ campaign. (Kristyn Anthony/News staff)

Province urges drivers to ‘Shift Into Winter’

Transportation minister Claire Trevena warns drivers to have winter tires, reduce speeds in icy and snowy conditions

It’s time to shift into winter.

That was the message from transportation Minister Claire Trevena Wednesday as she was joined by representatives from the Victoria Police Department, WorkSafeBC and Kal Tire to urge drivers across the province to prioritize road safety as heavy rain and snow begins to fall across the province.

RELATED: B.C.’s winter tire rules in effect for most highways

“Drivers need to have winter tires if they plan to travel on most of our highways,” said Trevena, who also stressed adjusting speeds when travelling on roads with snow or ice.

Winter tire regulation went into effect Oct. 1 and will be in effect an extra month, until April 30 on mountain passes and rural highways “to account for early spring snow storms in the southern Interior and the north.”

Not all drivers are required to outfit their vehicles with winter tires, just those travelling on designated routes including the Malahat section of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Three kinds of tires meet the requirements – all-season, all-weather and winter – but they must also have the mountain/snowflake logo or the M+S symbol with a minimum 3.5 millimetre tread depth.

RELATED: Authorities issued one fine in 2017 for violating winter tire rules

“It’s important for people on the south coast who drive on the Malahat or drive on the Sea to Sky to remember that winter tire regulations apply to them to,” Trevena stressed. “We get snow fall in the winter, too.”

Deputy Chief Jason Laidman of the VicPD said safe drivers ensure they are sober, not distracted, and make informed decisions to stay off roads in dangerous conditions. “As drivers we have control over how safe we are and how safe our vehicles are,” he said.

RELATED: Winter tire rules take effect Sunday

On average, the number of fatal crashes each year in B.C. doubles in December (246 crashes) compared to October (123 crashes).

Trevena suggested drivers use the DriveBC website to check road conditions, check highway cams or receive updates on delays.

“Highway safety is a shared responsibility,” she said.


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

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