While the warm spring weather has us all beginning spring chores, the Ministry of Transportation is reminding drivers that one chore you should put off until the end of April is changing your winter tires.
Winter tires are to remain on your vehicles for many roads in the province, and certainly throughout the Kootenays, until April 30. Until that date your vehicle should be equipped with tires with the mountain/snowflake or mud and snow (M + S) symbol when travelling on designated routes.
Tires must be in good condition and have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres. For rural highways and mountain passes, tires with the mountain/snowflake symbol provide the best traction and handling.
Two years ago, regulations were extended to April 30 from March 31 on select highways, most of which are in the Interior and northern parts of the province. Road conditions can change quickly, and snowfall is still possible in these regions.
While maintenance crews strive to keep routes safe and in the best possible condition, people must use caution and slow down when they encounter bad weather or limited visibility. Driving to current conditions will improve safety for everyone on the road.
Heavy snowfall or rapidly warming spring temperatures can increase the risk of avalanches in some areas. This can cause temporary highway closures while ministry avalanche experts ensure safe conditions. Obey all traffic control personnel during these times.