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Quebec first province to make winter tires mandatory

Comments (90)

Quebec motorists will be required to swap their summer tires for winter ones starting next winter, under a provincial law passed Wednesday.

As of Nov. 15, 2008, drivers will have to equip their vehicles with snow tires from that day each year through to April 15. The province estimates that 90 per cent of vehicles already use snow tires though an estimated 500,000 people rely on all-season tires.

The law makes Quebec the first province to require winter tires.

Jean-Marie de Koninck, who served as the head of a provincial task force on road safety, said the change is expected to help curb winter accidents.

"There's about 10 per cent of the people right now that don't have winter tires on and they're involved in 38 per cent of the accidents on the road in the winter," he said.

Drivers found without the tires will be fined between $200 and $300, though de Koninck acknowledged spotting drivers without winter tires may be difficult for police officers.

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Is this a good idea? Should it apply to other provinces?

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Comments (90)

Curt

Ottawa

From my own experience living in Northern Ontario I have seen little to no difference between winter and all season tires.

I now live in Ottawa and am always surprised by the often offended reactions to when I say I've never had winter tires. Defensive and calm driving is much more effective when dealing with winter roads then a little extra tread on your tire.

Posted December 21, 2007 02:30 PM

zed

west

Garet: well, darn! I thought I was providing common sense.

Posted December 21, 2007 02:19 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

Zed, you're providing anecdotal evidence to prove something the study isn't based on.

There is a difference between governing people and over-governing.

Posted December 21, 2007 02:03 PM

zed

west

Apparently some of you think we are "over governed".

If we lived in tiny, isolated villages, or caves, I would agree. However, most of us live in close proximity to many thousands of crowded others, most of whom are out and about every day in cars.

The big bad government you're wailing about make them all pass driver's tests, have seatbelts, working headlights, proper brakes, etc, and if they don't, they aren't allowed to operate a vehicle.

You should be glad about all of this, because if there were no rules or requirements, lots of complete idiots would be careening around, crashing into you.

Having proper tires for winter driving makes perfectly good sense, as does proper brakes, working seatbelts (did you howl about that too?), proper mufflers, etc etc., and if you can't see past your fixation on nasty-bad government, you're sad.

Where I live, you can't go up the mountains or on certain highways without chains or proper tires when it snows, BECAUSE, no one wants to rescue what's left of you down a mountain cliff, should you slide away.

Posted December 21, 2007 01:45 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

"When you see something like 10% of drivers dont have the right tires, they cause 38% of accidents. This stands out, because one would assume these 10% of drivers should only cause 10% of accidents...right?"

No, it says involved, not caused. There is a big difference there.

Posted December 21, 2007 01:37 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

"I say bring on a snow tire law if it means a lower chance of on-coming traffic fishtailing into my lane. How's that for small-l liberalism!"

Unfortunately, winter tires won't help that problem. That's a rear wheel drive problem that winter tires don't really correct.

"The winter tires give you the added traction to ensure that you can do evasive maneuvers when that not so safe guy driving behind/beside/in front of you does something stupid, like drop their cell phone and end up swerving. "

I'm not even sure which side you're on. Winter tires will probably make you understeer in an evasive maneuver in a bind anyways. You'll go straight, regardless of where the wheels are turned. But, even in your example, it is a driver fault, not a tire fault. Winter tires don't give much extra grip over all seasons. They're not the saviour that the government thinks they are.

"Mind you, I guess in Winnipeg you don't get mounds of snow each winter and everybody around you is a perfect driver."

Tires certainly won't make people better drivers.

Posted December 21, 2007 01:28 PM

Johnny Truth

Barrie

mike

"And for those of you who say you can't afford winter tires, then you obviously can't afford a car."

That has to be the stupidest comment of all time! A car can have a monthly payment of $600, where proper balanced and equipped snow tires are no less than a grand!

No, if you buy snow tires that are too small, too large are not equipped for the make and model of your car, and is not on steel rims, then you are buying something that is FAR less safe than all season tires for your car!


Calling poeople "whiners" simply because you have no case in your argument that this law will make us safe just proves why this law is bad in the first place.

Using comparisons as the RIDE program even furthers this proof as RIDE has not reduced drunk driving but has increased the amount of innocent people labld drunks and have recked their lives!

If anything, as we have seen against the abuse of RIDE programs this sort of law simply will not work.

Now what WILL work is lowering insurance costs dramatically as well as government licensing fees not to mention lowering the costs of said winter tires and rims if they are deemed to be important for our safety!

If such a thing was to be mandated then obviously everyone would not think twice about getting winter tires. As it is now. Safety has a price over a grand and those who think that everyone should pay that price should pay it for us or shut the heck up! You insults and your own whinning does not help the cause that currently they are NOT affordable for the majority of the populous!

Posted December 21, 2007 01:25 PM

Chinook

Gatineau/Ottawa

Sean and Beaconsfield Ray,

Sounds like you are true blue Quebecers when you say no one outside the province is allowed to voice an opinion on what goes on in the province (I have lived here for over 2 years - is that long enough for my opinion to count?)

Remember that road rules are a provinical thing and what one province sets a precedent for others to follow (unless you are Quebec and you are are talking about legal blood alcohol limits).

As well, those who live outside the province at this moment may have lived here in the past or move here in the near future. They also travel through it. These rules will affect them.

And, trust me, having lived in other parts of the country and world, I have never been more terrified of being hit by another driver as I have been since I have moved here. My husband is a BMW and has been hit twice while following the pedestrian lights.

My job is too far (bus ride would be 2 1/2 hours one way) and I have been hit by drivers twice (when conditions were perfect). We regularly see people drive through a solid red at the intersection next to our house.

Those in the ditch after a storm are usually SUVs with winter tires (some have even passed us at high speeds before they went over). IMHO, the problems are not the tires but the drivers and the lack of enforcement of existing laws.


Posted December 21, 2007 01:23 PM

David

Winnipeg

To those of you who claim that because I can’t afford to buy winter tires, I shouldn’t have a car. Pffft. Give your heads a shake.

Maybe I had a car and I lost my job (let’s say)? Therefore I still have a car but can’t afford to get the winter tires right away.

There are a whole whack of reasons why someone may not be able to afford winter tires for their car, so don’t claim that because you have a car you should always be able to keep it up.

Things happen.

But I guess they don’t to you perfect car owners out there who always have the money to replace whatever is wrong with your vehicle.

I’d like to see how many people would be prepared for their transmission to blow? Who’d have the funds for that?

Lame law.

It’s the driver that makes all the difference.

Posted December 21, 2007 01:22 PM

Jason Aviss

Toronto

For once, I agree 100% with Beaconsfield Ray. This isn't just about the Granny state watching out for you, it's about the regulation of traffic for the safety of everybody on the road.

All cars must have headlights to see AND BE SEEN. All cars must have seatbelts for the driver AND PASSENGERS. All cars must have winter tires so that you don't lose control of your car AND HIT ANOTHER CAR.

And again, if you can't afford to put the proper tires in your car in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road, then frankly, you have absolutely no place on the road.

Take the train. Take a bus. Carpool with a responsible driver. Walk. It will save the responsible drivers from idling in the same spot for 40 minutes on the 401 because some fool thought that all-season tires designed in California are actually sufficient in a real Canadian snow-squall.

(And if driving on the 401 is any indication there are MANY FOOLS)

Posted December 21, 2007 01:12 PM

Doug

BC

HaHa!! Good one Gate. "100% of all winter accidents would be caused by people with winter tires".That makes my day.And,of course is entirely true.

I have driven on "winter tires" that were far less effective than the "all reason radials" I now use.Though these tires are quite expensive,their performance both on ice and in snow never ceases to amaze me.

It is both stupid,and irresposible to drive around in winter,or any other time without adequate tires.

I expect the goal of this legislation is well intended,and likely aimed at those who take no resposibility for the condition of the vehicle they drive.

It may actually get a few of them to think twice.But it is much more of a "feel good" kind of law that probably will prevent either few,or no accidents.It just gives the appearance that something is being done.

I stand by those who say that driver training is poor these days.There are many who should never drive,let alone in the winter.And,at least in Vancouver,work crews seem unable to even salt and sand major hills and bridge decks.Until those two issues are managed,no amount of tire legislation will prevent the grid-lock or the accidents.

With sheer ice on our steep hills or bridge approaches,the only things that will help at all are chains,or studded tires.Even then,surprisingly enough,you have to employ the grey matter between your ears.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:54 PM

David

Winnioeg

My concern is the sense of false hope that this may enable in some individuals/drivers.

'Oh, I have winter tires so I can speed up b/c their made for these road conditions!'

FALSE

Tires make no difference; it's the driver.

I have been involved in 7 accidents, all in the winter, and ALL not my fault. How were these accidents caused? By careless winter driving, that’s how.

One woman didn’t give herself enough time to stop, thus rear-ending me. Would tires have made a difference if she was 10 feet away from me going 50k/m and had one-second reaction time to stop? I doubt it.

I know I’m a good driver; it’s everyone else I watch out for.

How many accidents will be caused now by over-zealous drivers who think they are indestructible?

MANY.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:50 PM

Bill

Residents of Quebec were prepared for this legislation and on an online poll a resounding 85% voted YES that winter tires should be mandatory to 15% NO.

The gov't realizes that some extra police officers will have to be hired, but this is par for the course whenever a province brings in legislation with legal ramifications. We live in the Ontario snowbelt and would never think of going without snow tires.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:44 PM

Jason Poel

I don't really think this is all that well thought out. I'm not sold completely on winter tires since there's too much lobbying from the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Basically they've effectively doubled the number of tires to be sold in Quebec and thats good for the Goodyears bottom line.

Ultimately this will likely lead to more accidents as those who choose to save money will just leave them on in the summer not realizing how bad that is for tire wear. The result will be a large amount of people driving with bald tires in the second winter. CRASH...

A good set of all season tires with descent tread depth is the best way to go.. Being the most safety for the best cost.

Besides wouldn't the constabulary be better occupied with controlling guns and gangs then with this babysitting of motorists.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:39 PM

T. Burns Phd statistics

Canada

Some people are easily fooled by stats. Some people can easily use stats to push across their views.

When you see something like 10% of drivers dont have the right tires, they cause 38% of accidents. This stands out, because one would assume these 10% of drivers should only cause 10% of accidents...right?
Put of putting meaning to stats (my job) is to determine outside factors that lead to results.

For instance, people who do have 2 sets of tires for each car, winter and allseason/summer are probably in general better off financially than people who just have one set of tires.

People who are financially better off, in general probably have newer more expensive cars. Newer more expensive cars are in general safer than older cars.

People with only one set of tires, are in general less able to afford a newer car. In general they would drive older less safe cars. In general they would also spend less on taking care of their car.....shocks/brakes/steering....

Posted December 21, 2007 12:26 PM

Lorne

Sudbury

In some of my previous posts,i've mentioned that I live in the bush.Up here in the winter,driving can be a little rough and snow tires on my 4x4 pickup is a must.

I can not understand how a lot of city dwellers believe that snow tires are redundant and that all season tires work perfectly in the winter.I understand that some city streets are generally bare during the winter months and all season tires are adequate, but what happens during a snowstorm?Do any of you nay sayers believe that all season tires will perform as well as winter tires? I really don't think so.

My brother lives in Burlington and drives a Subaru Forester{nice car by the way}He comes every Christmas to visit my parents and other siblings.I remember him raving how "wicked" his little buggy was and that he would take it pretty much anywhere.

Well,he was coming to my place 2 christmases ago when he got stuck.He was not impressed to say the least.I ended up towing him to my place with my 4x4.

He had all season tires on his car and believed that because of his all-wheel drive,he would have no problem going anywhere that he wanted.Granted,the road to my house is not plowed by the city{I plow it with my front end loader when I have time} and I use sand instead of salt,but anyone with snowtires and all-wheel drive can make it there.

As a matter of fact my Brother is here visiting me and his Subaru with snowtires made the journey with no problem.Nuff said.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:23 PM

mike

Sounds like most of you who are contributing comments have never used winter tires.

I've used all-seasons and winters, and I'll never go back to all-seasons.

However; I do agree that the driver plays the main role in being safe on the road.I think that if insurance companies lowered premiums to drivers who do as much possible to prevent accidents, it might be a better incentive to put on winters.

Money talks.

All-in-all, not a good law. And for those of you who say you can't afford winter tires, then you obviously can't afford a car.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:20 PM

Glen

Toronto

Garret of Winnipeg...The fact that you may be a safe a cautious driver and can drive quite fine on all-seasons through the winter is great, if you're the only person on the road.

However, you're not.

The winter tires give you the added traction to ensure that you can do evasive maneuvers when that not so safe guy driving behind/beside/in front of you does something stupid, like drop their cell phone and end up swerving.

Mind you, I guess in Winnipeg you don't get mounds of snow each winter and everybody around you is a perfect driver.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:14 PM

Woody

toronto

It seems B. Kelley would rather be governed by boards of directors rather than democratically elected officials.

Most of the items in the comprehensive list he provides are linked to a faulty (light bulbs) or simply immoral (tobacco industry) corporate citizenry.

Its dominance in our lives has made it exceedingly difficult to make reasoned choices.

What is more, the only way we have, at least indirectly, to change a corporate regime is to vote with our wallets.

But marketing strategies (upon which billions are heaped) attempt to ensure an ill-informed public that thinks life will be better. The tabacco industry, of course, simply uses nicotine.

Granted B. Kelley inlcudes other items: "garbage pickup, snow shoveling, RIDE programs, car seats, bicycle helmets, photo-radar..." "Big Brother" (otherwise known as democratically elected government) certainly wants to make our lives miserable with these unjustified incursions into our private decision-making. Mandatory car seats - what folly!

I say bring on a snow tire law if it means a lower chance of on-coming traffic fishtailing into my lane. How's that for small-l liberalism!

Posted December 21, 2007 12:13 PM

Victor

Toronto

MANDATORY!

It's for your own good. You're wrong if you disagree. The Government knows what's best for you. Just follow our rules.

Our Granny nation is at it again and, typically, we follow like sheep.

Posted December 21, 2007 12:02 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

Beaconsfield Ray, I think that because you are not able to drive a car safely without winter tires doesn't mean the same for everyone. Despite what you think, you can't buy driving skills.

It is completely safe to drive with all seasons in the winter. Like I said, I drove a car with a lot of power and skinny, small 40 year old (design wise) tires. I had no problems because I am a competant driver. To say that somebody with different tires is a less safe driver is completely ridiculous.

Then why don't they ban all rear drive cars? Why not front drive cars too? An AWD will always get better traction, so why not pass a law that say everyone needs an AWD car? Heck, a car could get stuck. Why not make a law that everyone needs a vehicle that is awd, and has a foot of ground clearance?

The government should stop controlling little aspects of peoples lives and actually do something productive. They don't need to jump on every little stupid survey.

Posted December 21, 2007 11:57 AM

Sean

Dorval

First off, this is one time I actually agree 100% with Beaconsfield Ray, especially the part about telling people from outside of Quebec to shut up.

There are so many people who post comments on this blog that do nothing but whine about any law the government passes.

We have laws to stop people from doing stupid things because there are stupid people out there that actually do these things.

People cannot be trusted to do the right thing all the time. That is why it is illegal to drink and drive, smoke crack cocaine, or walk around with live hand grenades tied to your clothing by the pins.

When a person drives with inadequate tires for the extremely snowy Quebec climate, they increase the chances of everyone around them being involved in an accident.

Just like I am sure there are people who can drive absolutely fine with twice the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstream, I agree that there are people who can drive fine in deep snow with all-season radials, or even summer tires.

But if we allow these things, we know the price will be paid in human lives.

Any law that can can save even one life is worth it to me.

But I suppose money is too important to some of you, for you to think anything as trivial as some strangers dying in a head-on car accident would change your mind.

After all, it would never affect YOU... or would it?

Posted December 21, 2007 11:55 AM

Trevor

Brampton

There are people who don't drive when the roads are snow covered. Would they get fined for driving on dry roads in winter on all seasons? Do you wear winter boots throughout winter or only when they are needed?

On the surface it looks like a good thing. Especially to the tire manufacturers and dealers because it will be quite profitable to them. But consider the costs to the consumer, the taxpayer and the environment.

- Winter tires give poorer mileage than all seasons so more ga$oline used and more greenhouse gases emitted.
- The costs of mounting and balancing twice a year, or,
- The cost of additional rims.
- Costs of storing off-season tires. (Where would they go if you live in an apartment or condominium?)
- An increase in tires being discarded. (Why pay to store tires?)
- An increase in illegal tire dumping. (Who gets to pay to cleanup the mess?)

This law at present gives the tire companies the green light to increase their profits and their pollution of the environment

What Quebec needs to do immediately is to pass into law the requirement that tire manufacturers and dealers recycle and dispose of their tires. Possibly even requiring a refundable deposit to encourage consumers to return their expired tires to the source.

In the meantime, to the poor Quebecers who can't afford 2 sets of tires or the fines - buy snows and run them year round.

Posted December 21, 2007 11:35 AM

Yves

Ottawa

Here we go again. Big Brother watching out for us again, knowing what's best.

I'll put up my Audi Quattro with Michelin all-seasons against any two-wheel winter tire equipped vehicle any time, any place.

Think about how different road conditions can be throughout Ontario before imposing this on us. Also consider that not all vehicles need winter tires.

Studies prove that performance in snow and on ice increases only slightly with winter tires on all-wheeled vehicles. So there.

Posted December 21, 2007 11:17 AM

Chinook

Ottawa/Gatineau

I listened to the CBC Radio interview with a guy from the committee who recommennded the road saftey rules (ironically, during a snowstorm where the bridge to Quebec had numerous accidents). Here is some interesting food for thought:

1)they initally recommennded making winter tires mandatory on rental vehicles, not all personal vehicles. The opposition changed it to all personal vehicles. No mention that this would reduce road fatalaties, just the stats. about collisions.

2) they had intially recommended lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.5%(like the rest of the country) from the current 0.8% because this would reduce road fatalities by about 20 people per year. This idea was disputed by the opposition and removed as not reasonable.


Scary.


Posted December 21, 2007 11:12 AM

Beaconsfield Ray

A harsh as it may sound Andria from Gatineau, if you can't afford the proper equipment to safely drive your vehicles, you can't put them on the road.

We, as a society, can't afford the risk of being taken out by someone whose tires are inappropriate for the conditions, whose tires are bald, whose brakes don't work...

To all those who cry 'poverty', sorry. You have a responsibility for maintaining your vehicles appropriately. If not, take the BMW (Bus-Metro-Walk)!

Posted December 21, 2007 11:06 AM

Alec

I've lived in north east B.C. where winter temps average -20C at this time of year. Believe winter tires make no difference on glare ice. Just careful driving and taking extra care works.

Anyway, I am now in Arizona and have no immediate plans to visit Quebec at this time of year!!

Posted December 21, 2007 11:01 AM

jtf

Ottawa

Interesting the way this bill has been spun. MANDATORY use of winter tires between November 15th and April 15th? This will have exactly the same effect that antilock brakes, stability control and other 'advancements' in vehicle technology do to prevent vehicle collisions... NOTHING.

People will still be crashing their cars because they aren't paying attention to what they are doing and driving beyond the limits of their vehicles. Mandatory driver training is the answer (which also is part of this legislation).

Other parts of this legislation which ARE worthwhile (but seem to have been overlooked by the media) are the banning of cell phones while driving and speed governors on heavy trucks.

Photo radar is making a comeback also (funny how nobody is talking about that either). They must be running a little short on revenue from speeding tickets these days. Interesting to note that when the Ontario government decided to stop using photo radar the City of Ottawa asked if they could keep it going as it 'contributed significantly to the safety of motorists by reducing their speed'.

The Ontario government said that they could keep using photo radar if they wished but could not keep any of the revenue from the tickets... it was the last time that city council mentioned it.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:56 AM

B. Kelley

Brantford

Power mad politicians! This is getting totally ridiculous.

Next they'll be passing laws making it mandatory to wear a winter coat and boots between December and March "for our own good" or how many times in a week we can take our kids to McDonalds.

Laws governing light bulbs, grocery bags, smoking in cars, trans fats, school snacks, winter tires, lawn treatments, car idling, garbage pickup, snow shoveling, RIDE programs, car seats, bicycle helmets, photo-radar, and on and on and on ... ad nauseum.

Am I the only one who feels a tad over-governed these days? Are there so few of us who recognize the constant erosion of personal control over how we each live our own lives?

Sadly, it seems that the majority of Canadians are content to accept rampant socialism and let the political hacks in Ottawa, Toronto, Quebec City, etc. make all our decisions for us. Karl Marx must be smiling.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:48 AM

Neil Williams

Vancouver

I will put up my AWD Subaru with very high quality all season tires, against any rear-wheel drive American car with winter tires. We can do stopping tests, climbing icy hills, you name it.

I do suppose this is a very easy law to enforce. Say for example its April 14th, 10 degrees C outside, roads are dry, can you still get a ticket.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:39 AM

Andria

Gatineau

Sure. It's a good idea...for those who can AFFORD IT! We are a low-income family, relying on 2 used vehicles to suppport our family...that's 8 brand new tires!! We cannot afford this, even if we started saving today!!

I hope the province recognizes lower-income families, and possibly implements some kind of refund, depending on family income. This is ridiculous!

Posted December 21, 2007 10:34 AM

Mike H

Hamilton

The 400 series highways in the Toronto-Hamilton corridor are dry and clear for the vast majority of the winter.

Forcing people to have snowies in Ontario, which turn most cars into gas guzzlers, is environmentally irresponsible.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:32 AM

David Pepin

Gatineau

Justin from Calgary wrote:
"10% of the people don't have winter tires on there car, are involved in 38% of the accidents on the road in the winter, does this mean that 62% of the rest of the accidents involve people who have winter tires???"

Do the maths. Let's say there is 3 million drivers in Quebec (arbitrary number). it means that 300,000 people are responsible for 38% of the winter car accidents, while 2,700,000 people are responsible for 62% of the accidents.

Again, let's say there 100,000 accidents in winter in Quebec (arbitrary number, but it does not change the proportion). It would mean that the "non-winter-tire people" (300,000) are responsible for 38,000 accidents (rate of 0.1267%). And, the winter tire people (2,700,000) are responsible for 62,000 accidents (rate of 0.0296%.

With these hypothetical figures, people that don't have winter tires are almost 5 times more likely to have an accident. Of course, the rates I calculated are not precise because I don't have the number of accidents, but still, it shows that if 10% of the people cause 38% of the accidents, they are more dangerous that the 90% who cause 62%. Simple maths.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:23 AM

JB

ON

I am glad that when I visit my family in the Eastern Townships of quebec, I will be able to rent a car with winter tires in Montreal.

Rental cars with winter tires are currently rare, but you would have to be mad to want to drive outside of the city without them.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:23 AM

Nathan

Alberta

This law reminds me of the other laws that are supposedly enacted for the sake of safety. Red light cameras are a case in point.

I've now read several studies of red light cameras which show no lessening in the number of car accidents at intersections with red light cameras. One study showed an increase in accidents. If you were to analyze the results you would discover the only difference is the significant increase in revenue generated by red light cameras.

I live in Alberta and buy the best tires for my driving needs. In my case, all terrain tires with deep tread. They work okay on city streets and are fantastic when I take the truck onto the ice to do ice fishing.

For those who think winter tires are a panacea, I think you'd find putting a brand new set of summer tires on a lot of cars would also improve the traction. New tires are new tires, after all. And new summer tires (or all seasons) are probably a lot better than worn out winter tires.

Posted December 21, 2007 10:22 AM

Bill Peters

This sounds like a "cash cow" for tire manufacturers and companies alike.

In the 38% of those that get into accidents without winter tires, did people's lack of defensive driving skills ever come into debate?

People are ultimately responsible for their actions and if they get into numerous accidents and are sketchy drivers, then maybe they should not be out driving in adverse road conditions.

Posted December 21, 2007 09:49 AM

Rob

Halifax

Sigh.

(1) Put a priority on ENFORCING existing driving laws, speed limits / red lights / crosswalks / etc. If I had a nickel for every time I've seen a police cruiser ignore a blatant violation in plain view...

(2) Have the guts to impose meaningful penalties (license suspensions, vehicle impounding, etc.) on people who don't get it.

(3) Impose a new licensing scheme with separate testing for the big, obnoxious pedestrian-squashers.

(4) Force people to put winter tires on their car (are you going to tell us which brand to buy, too? Not all winter tires are created equal).

Doing things in that order would be far more effective. But the first three are too haaaaard, so do the easiest one and call it a day.

Posted December 21, 2007 09:28 AM

Garet

Winnipeg

I'm not sure where the Quebec government got this information that winter tires are a miracle cure for bad drivers.

I'd wager it was the tire manufacturers. Though they provide a great benefit over your low profile summer tires, and an okay benefit over all seasons, they won't stop accidents.

Posted December 21, 2007 09:24 AM

Garet

Winnipeg

Another problem is that winter tires don't provide much extra (if any) benefit for emergency stopping. It's not going to help with the rear ending.

Posted December 21, 2007 09:18 AM

Roy Smith

Another step towards an Orwellian state, big brother managing our lives to protect ourselves.

Thank God I can escape this madness to winter south.

Posted December 21, 2007 08:46 AM

Garet

Winnipeg

""There's about 10 per cent of the people right now that don't have winter tires on and they're involved in 38 per cent of the accidents on the road in the winter," he said."

But did they think about this: After this ridiculous law comes into play, 100% of all winter accidents will be caused by driving with winter tires.

I'm wondering why they assume that all cars are the same except for tires.

There is so much wrong with this study to begin with.

To base a law off of it is ridiculous.

Posted December 21, 2007 08:16 AM

Glen

Toronto

I suspect that for enforcement, it'll be like anything else, after the fact.

This means that you probably won't be hassled if a cop drives by and sees all-seasons on your car, but if you happen to be in an accident, that's where you'll be nailed.

It's been proven over and over that in a lot of cases, common sense needs to be legislated, which is very sad.

Seat belts are a prime example.

As for added tire wear, try doing your own research.

Winter tires don't wear any more or less than all-seasons do when driven in the winter with colder temperatures.

Obviously if you're dumb enough to drive them right through the summer, they will wear faster because of the heat. Then again, that's your own fault for being dumb.

Most tires last about four seasons of driving, if maintained properly. Most people drive them much longer than they should and don't maintain them correctly.

Do you check your tire pressure more often in the winter than summer?

Probably not, because you figure you don't have to.

However, if you know how to maintain your car, you should know that cold weather decreases your tire pressure.

Then again, you're nice and safe on your all-seasons because you slow down and drive more carefully (yeah...right!).

Now you just have to worry about all the other "nice and carefull" drivers out there.

Good Luck!

Posted December 21, 2007 08:15 AM

Troy

What is with these laws with the common sense themes?

Anyone who argues that winter tires have little to no benefit is clearly a moron.

Then again, someone who drives like it's summer-time in the winter with or without these tires and with or without 4 wheel drive is also a moron.

Why do we have to legislate common sense?

Shouldn't people know not to smoke around their kids, drive as safely as possible in the winter, not let 12 year olds drive full size ATVs, let kids chat online without supervision, let kids run the streets until 3 in the morning, get into vehicles with strangers and not leave unlocked guns and ammo laying around?

This may sound a little harsh, but there's a reason Darwins Law came in to existence.

Perhaps we should legislate common sense so we could minimize preventable tragedies.

Believe it or not, my examples above have all been in the news recently.

Making minor mistakes in judgement from time to time is understandable and forgivable, but constant idiocy is not.

Please forgive me for ranting about kids, because it seems in general that that is who these laws are enacted/proposed for.

Posted December 21, 2007 08:12 AM

Beaconsfield Ray

Typical Canadian negativity.

One law, surprisingly based on proven fact (look up the studies), that will save drivers money over the long term although with up-front costs (do the math - if you drive a new car every 3 years, you don't count since you can afford the extra short-run costs), and the nay-sayers come out.

For everyone outside Quebec, please shut-up.

Your histrionics are truly ridiculous.

The law is for Quebec-based cars and I would defy ANYONE to show me roads ANYWHERE in Quebec that are snow-free in the winter.

Also for everyone outside Quebec, does it consistently go below the -10 to -15 C temperature range?

You know, when your vaunted four-season tires become hard as a rock and have no grip. Maybe this law SHOULD be adopted - with regional differences - across Canada after all!

I have driven in EVERY province in Canada (except PEI).

If you think that Quebec drivers are the worst, you must have your eyes closed when driving at home.

Maybe that explains things...

Posted December 21, 2007 07:40 AM

Wagbagger

Sudbury

I've used all season radials on my vehicles for years and only switched to snowtires a couple of years ago.

The difference in the winter time between these two types of tires are profound and I personally will not go without winter tires during the winter months.

That being said,I don't think that there should be a law to enforce this.

All season tires worked fine for me and most other drivers most of the time and with prudence and caution one should be able to get through winter with these tires with little drama.

It's just that winter tires are that much better in the winter months.

I swapped and I can really tell the difference in grip, braking and just generally getting around.

If the rest of Canada follows suit and forces all motorists to comply to this law, then maybe the insurance companies should give these drivers a rebate on their premium to justify the eventual price increase of snowtires.

That would be wishful thinking, but hey... Christmas is around the corner.

Posted December 21, 2007 07:26 AM

Kevin D.

Ottawa

Changing to winter tires will not drop the number of accidents, at least significantly.

Let's not forget that it's the person behind the wheel and their actions and decisions that lead to accidents.

I've driven on all-seasons since day 1 and am quite comfortable in driving in the winter with them. I've driven in horrible conditions with them and have never, ever been involved in an accident.

Forget changing tires, people have to change their driving habits in winter (there are too many people who seem to forget how to drive in the snow when winter comes.)

If everybody drove the way they should in winter, then there would be fewer accidents, snow tires or not.

Posted December 21, 2007 07:25 AM

Glenn Laycock

Maybe Quebec had a tire plant or good tire company lobby group; all I can says is that it is that I BELIEVE, it is great marketing by the tire companies.

First snow tires is one element -- there is driver behaviour (I can consistently get better performance out of my all seasons then a person with winter tires who realizes on those tires to cover simple bad driving, like spinning tires to get fast acceleration - a behavoir that is only proper in summer).

Second there is Rear-Wheel Drive and Front Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive.

All those factors have WAY MORE impact on Winter driving then the tires.

Is Quebec going to outlaw Rear Drive vehicles? I doubt it.

Then there is the huge environmental damage.

All seasons (for domestic use) reduced tire production tremendously.

Tires are horrible to dispose of, and being an oil product, they are not that wonderful on the Earth to produce in the first place.

Lastly, purely economic .. $500 to $1000 out out of everyones disposable income is a lot of money -- what is beign given up in leu of that? This time of year -- one might suspect charity gifts would be reduced, or Seasonal Shopping.

Personally the energy and labour in buying new rims, and storing the old tires and all the trips to make that happen is just leaching money out of the economy and giving it to the tire companies.

Let people decide on the tires -- though pure Summer tires make little sense as the rubber is not designed for our temperatures (all seasons are designed for low temperatures).

I would say the Gov't should reverse it roll and get the tire companies to produce BETTER ALL SEASON tires as the best environomental and economic way to go.

The tire companies can make great all seasons -- but economically they would love people to use 8 tires instead of 4 on their cars.

Again, the driver and vehicle type are much more important to safety and Winter driving.

Posted December 21, 2007 02:09 AM

Mark

Niagara

As a side note here's a tip if you don't want to change tires/wheels twice a year (most people aren't aware of it).

There are tires on the market that really ARE all season tires in our climate and they do carry the requisite snowflake/mountain symbol of any true winter tire.

Posted December 20, 2007 11:08 PM

Mark

Niagara

Well, if nothing else some of the comments posted here certainly confirm the widespread ignorance about the value of snow tires! It's really an inexcusable ignorance because it would take very little research time to cure.

Bravo Quebec for the pro-active approach! Just a few steps ahead of the rest of us.

I'm a libertarian who would prefer less government intervention in our lives, but I do regret that the ignorance of the masses has once again made it necessary for the government to step in and make a decision for those who have demonstrated that they are incapable of making that decision for themselves.

And it is for the protection of those who are quite capable of making that decision on their own.

This law, like the seatbelt law, passes the "Good Law Test". That being that it is totally invisible to, just doesn't apply to, and can be ignored by, sensible people, because they did it anyway before it was law.

If you can't afford snow tires in our climate then, guess what... you can't afford a car!

Regarding the psychology of safety...It could be argued that every auto safety feature introduced makes people more dangerous drivers by making them overconfident.

Therefore people would be much better drivers and thus much safer if they had a sharp 14" bayonet pointed between their eyes, mounted in place of the airbag.

Education is the key, such as occurred after the introduction of ABS.

It's quite surprising that there aren't more lawsuits in situations where a person didn't have winter tires in marginal conditions where a collision resulted.

Maybe the death toll hasn't yet reached the tipping point yet where the media can latch onto it.

Maybe some philanthropic insurance company could encourage the positive conduct by offering premium discounts to those who install winter tires.

But, then again, maybe I'M the silly fool and it's just cheaper to kill and cripple people instead!

Posted December 20, 2007 11:07 PM

Derek Lawrence

The government is overstepping its role, this law is both draconian and unfair.

Not all people drive on roads that require snow tires, and not all people drive on roads when they are snow covered after storms.

It may be true that forcing everybody to use winter tires will reduce accidents by some percentage.

However, mandating the use of snow tires is a step down the slippery slope of paternalistic government intervention in people's lives.

Perhaps the speed limit on all roads should be 50 km/h, since that would reduce collisions and fatalities?

Or, why not ban alcohol and cigarettes as well since they are dangerous?.....

Posted December 20, 2007 09:59 PM

Dave

Toronto

Considering the fine ($200-$300) is less than a set of new winter tires, this is either a cash grab or a very unsuccessful law. I wonder if maybe I could apply for a provincial grant so I could afford snow tires.

I gotta wonder how much the service shops or tire manufacturers lobbied for this.

Totally agree that the solution is to properly maintain the roads, and improve driver training. I live in a city that has opted to reduce snowplowing on side-streets to save cash, and a province that has only just realized that most driver training is just a formality to buy a certificate.

This looks like an idea our government will latch onto eagerly, instead of attacking the real root causes.

Instead, we'll have drivers over-confident in the road conditions, their driving abilities, because they have a nice new set of winter tires. Bring on the accidents!

Posted December 20, 2007 08:29 PM

Victor Cyr

Halifax

More Tires? Listen, the government needs to do a better job plowing the roads in the winter so no one needs to spend money buying another set of tires.

Snow tires get poor fuel economy for all cars and wear out fast. This is not environmently friendly.

When the roads are bad, either stay home or take public transportation. Snow tires won't compensate for poor judgement!

Posted December 20, 2007 08:16 PM

Andrew

Hamilton

So now that I have winter tires on my car I don't have to worry about road conditions, I can do the speedlimit, right?

Now I can sue the government for forcing me to put winter tires on my car which caused me to get in an accident.

I want to sue the government for forcing this country to be politically correct ...

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

Posted December 20, 2007 08:03 PM

DJM

Calgary

First, for the question of if other provinces should mandate this; I can definitely say Alberta shouldn't.

One of the reason's I don't buy winter tires is that for much of the Calgarian winter we have bare pavement with mild (if not warm) temperatures - the roads are bare and its +2 C right now, for example.

As to whether this is a good idea, I'd say no in general. It not only removes the ability for me to judge what is best for me and my family, but it limits our ability to leverage new technologies that may make snow tires obsolete one day (within a typical urban/suburban context at least).

For example, there are new all-seasons which are truly all weather capable, including good characteristics on ice and snow (TripleTreds are one example). These are not technically classed snow tires, but they probably perform better than the cheaper snow tires out on the market.

With this type of tire, I would say you are safer year round than if you had 2 sets of more moderately priced season-specific tires. Yet this will soon be deemed illegal in Quebec; it just doesn't make sense.

Posted December 20, 2007 06:54 PM

bernard

i think it is stupid to force snow tires on the public. most cars come with all season radials.

In the cities it snows and a few hours later it back to wet pavement. Most winter accidents are caused by idiots who do not adjust thier driving habits for road conditions.

Another money graber for the tire companies and the goverment.

Posted December 20, 2007 06:42 PM

Nathan

Alberta

Quebec always seems to be able to come up with some new reason to be mocked by the rest of us. This year it's winter tires. What is a "winter tire" anyway? I have a truck with "all terrain" tires. Do these qualify? I bought them so I can get through snow, but they don't say "winter tire" anywhere on them.

Hey wait... you know those Quebec police officers assigned to cut open garbage bags and make sure citizens are correctly recycling? They can add a special section of officers assigned to describe exactly what a winter tire is...and to inspect vehicles to be sure they comply.

Posted December 20, 2007 06:31 PM

Sean

Dorval

I drove on my winter tires all year this year, and only changed over to fresh winter tires on December 6th.

Winter tires are made of much softer rubber, and it is wasteful to use them in the summer, as they wear so fast.

The difference when I got fresh tires with deeper treads was amazing. No more worries about playing pinball with parked cars when I turn a corner.

As of yesterday, the Dorval weather office reports 91.2 cm of snow have fallen here so far this month.

While I notice that many of our brethren in the prairie provinces seem to find all-season radials suitable for winter driving, keep in mind that aside from their different climate, their roads are smoother, flatter, better-maintained, and not smothered in road salt.

I would not want to see one of them try to climb University Avenue in Montreal with their all-season radials, especially if I was the poor sap behind them.

I'm sick and tired of idiots with summer tires thinking their precious money is more important than my family's safety.

If you live in a wintry climate, just accept the realities.

The drive to pick up my wife from work is normally ten minutes, as the route I take is opposite the flow of heavy traffic, and it is only on the other side of the airport.

This week, that has become a 90-minute gauntlet of bumper-to-bumper mayhem. The main cause of the jams is accidents involving people who go out of control on the roads, and crash.

Quebec has passed many stupid laws, but I support this one 110%. It's time to get these road hazards off the road, and let the rest of us breathe a little easier.

Now if they would only take it to the next step. They should require all drivers in Quebec to have winter driving endorsements on their driver's licenses, if they want to drive between Nov 15th and April 15th.

And they should especially focus attention on drivers who are from places where there is little or no snow.

Posted December 20, 2007 06:15 PM

Glen

Toronto

For all you belly-achers complaining about adding a proven safety feature to your car, I'll compare the handling and safety of mine with 4 snow tires on it to your all-seasons any day of the winter.

CBC had a fantastic documentary on a couple of years ago with a safety expert from Saskatchewan I think that did just that.

Control, handling, braking, steering, all were dramatically improved when using snow tires. They also discussed the fact that all-seasons are not truly for all seasons in the Canadian sense.

This is particularly true for those yahoos with their 19" rims and 2 inches of rubber showing. No wonder we see them in the ditch all the time north of Toronto.

As to price...mine are Norwegian and cost $400 installed on steel rims. I save money at change-over by doing it myself. However, most men these days seem to have forgotten how to do these things for themselves.

If that's the case with you, Cdn Tire will swap their own brand for free if they are on separate rims.

One other point...It's not my driving ability that I worry about in winter, it's yours. When you spin our of control, I know that I've got better maneuverability and handling to keep myself and my family safe.

Your other alternative...don't drive when it's snowing and only go out when the roads are dry.

Posted December 20, 2007 06:09 PM

Chris

Waterloo

Yeah, good luck with that. Even if they pass it here in Ontario, I'm not abiding by it and I know a lot of others who won't either.

So if the Ontario government wants to waste its time enforcing such a petty issue, be my guest. Also, since it becomes mandatory to purchase these winter tires, are we able to claim the cost on income taxes? Remember, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander!

Posted December 20, 2007 05:56 PM

Dr Daniel Lacroix

Cornwall

As a former emergency physician nothing was more tragic than treating children with serious injuries caused by irresponsible adults who put summer tires on expensive vehicles, except having to tell them that some of the other children did not survive the crash.

Come on! You spend thousands of dollars on cars but near nothing on the most important thing! Buy cheaper cars and put better tires!

My congratulations to Quebec!

Posted December 20, 2007 05:52 PM

E. Katz

Winnipeg

Much of this depends on the province; however, from my experience with dedicated winter tires and from all test results I've seen, there's no question whatsoever that in winter conditions where ice, snow and temperatures well-below freezing are the norm, they can't be beaten.

Besides Quebec, Manitoba is certainly as good a place as any to make these compulsory, and it seems to me that at least one of the Scandinavian countries---Finland and possibly Sweden---mandates their use as well.

The combination of the more pliable rubber compound plus the specialized tread is the secret because when the mercury falls below -10C, all-season tires become too hard to provide proper grip.

I can't see much argument against them. After all, would a person take a hike through the snow in dancing shoes or put on boots with the proper lug soles?

My car has front drive plus traction control; yet before I bought a set of winter types for all four wheels, I managed to get into situations where I had to resort to using my shovel and traction ladders to get myself out.

With the winter ones I've yet to get stuck and have had better grip pulling away, braking and cornering. In fact, a neighbour who has a 4WD truck also put on winter tires and claims they make a substantial difference.

And I noticed an owner of a tire franchise has done the same. As for the manufacturers taking advantage of any laws demanding these tires, I've yet to see any increases on these to date.

As for the added cost, people are forgetting that if they keep the all-season ones on permanently, they will wear them out faster and need to buy replacements, while the four months when winter ones are used will not only provide better traction and safety but also zero wear on the regular ones in storage.In addition, all the somnolent, distracted and incompetent drivers on the road need all the help they can get, so make winter tires the law between November and March or even longer.

Posted December 20, 2007 05:29 PM

JB

ON

At least now I will be able to rent a car with winter tires in Montreal! I am so sick of companies that only rent cars with 4 season tires.

It is obvious that most of the posters here do not do much driving outside the city or in areas with any hills.

Posted December 20, 2007 05:15 PM

Steve

West

And the Nanny State strikes again. Fear not people, you do not need to worry. The government and their unionized civil service is here to protect you and we will take care of you from the craddle to the grave. What's next?

Posted December 20, 2007 04:28 PM

Darryl

Halifax

I predict that mandatory winter tires will eventually lead to inflated prices of tires and of service to change them. It is not a matter of being able to afford tires, brakes, or gas. It is a matter of price gouging.

Imagine tire manufacturers and resellers licking their chops knowing that drivers are now required by law to have a second set of tires for their car.

It won't happen overnight, but eventually you will see the cost slowly rise to ridiculous levels simply because you have no choice but to get them.

I'm not saying it is definite; it's not like the price of insurance sky-rocketed after that was made mandatory or anything. Oh wait..

Posted December 20, 2007 04:22 PM

Sam

NWT

This won't solve a lot other than to make Tire Dealers rich as well as cause no end of frustration when Vehicle owners try and book appointments with these dealers
en mass twice a year. It's already a foregone conclusion once the demand gets higher so will the prices.
It will eventually become cheaper just to pay the fine.

A good set of All-Season tire work very well any time of the year and don't require to be changed until they wear out.

The big reason for these accidents is usually the Drivers who think it's their undeniable right to
be driving down the roads and highways using the posted Maximum Speed Limits as suggested minimums no matter what.

Bad Drivers are out there all year long, the difference being is, in the Winter, when one of these
drivers has to swerve or slam on the brakes at the last minute to avoid an accident, the road is less forgiving.
Yes Snow tires are great in "Snow" but there's no tire in the world that will guarantee traction on ice.
(Actually the All Season tires are softer and are somewhat better for traction on glare ice).

The only way to cut down on accidents in winter is for ALL drivers to drive according to road conditions (slow down),

Pay attention to your situation at all times, (leave the cellphones off, the makeup and food at home) and
the slipperier the road, the more space you leave between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

Also don't go lane weaving right in front of other vehicles. All basic common sense and courtesy.
I have used All Season radial tires since they were invented and haven't been in any accident caused by not having Snow tires.

Posted December 20, 2007 04:18 PM

montreal-rider

Montreal

Last year there wasn't any permanent snow until January. I was still riding my motorcycle then. Does that require winter tires?? Perhaps the law should only be enforced with a reasonable amount of snow on the ground?

Posted December 20, 2007 04:16 PM

Ryan

Montreal

What a stupid law!

Mandating snow tires is only a band aid to the real problem. Quebec drivers are the worst in North America. Its not the tires that are the problem its the drivers.

Maybe if the existing laws (respecting speed limits, stopping at stop signs and red lights, signaling, etc...) were enforced, we would not need another law.

Instead its another $500-$800 for a set of tires next year. This year I will stick with my all seasons as I have for the last 20 years.

Posted December 20, 2007 04:15 PM

GC

This law is misguided and unnecessary. Unfortunately there seems to be no end to the number of misguided, unnecessary, ineffective and (frequently) expensive-to-the-consumer laws that government enacts in the name of [insert noble cause here].

IMO there's something fishy about this claim: "There's about 10% of the people right now that don't have winter tires on and they're involved in 38% of the accidents on the road in the winter". I find it difficult to believe that 90% of people in Quebec (or in any province) actually have snow tires on their vehicles. Where did these numbers come from? Did the government conduct a reliable study or did they just make up the numbers?

Accidents are not caused by features of the vehicle but by driver error. I live in a rural area outside of one of Saskatchewan's larger cities and I commute 30 km (one way) to the city everyday. I drive an *very* small (50 MPG) FWD car equipped with all-season tires but without ABS or traction control.

In winter the road conditions can be pretty bad but I've never "hit the ditch" nor even come close to it. I drive carefully but not excessively so (I never hold up traffic). During such times I find it amusing that at least 1/2 the vehicles stranded in the ditch are SUVs.

SUVs are almost always AWD/4WD with ABS and many now have traction control. How come all these "safety features" didn't keep the SUVs out of the ditch? Maybe maybe that's because safety features can't compensate for poor driving skills.

Winter tires, "safety inspections" of non-commercial vehicles, and emissions testing of new vehicles (

Posted December 20, 2007 04:10 PM

Eric

Montreal

"It should be obvious that proper tires are not a matter of preference, but necessity, as are brakes, windshields, and headlights. If you can't afford good tires in a very wintry province, you should not have a license to drive."

Mandatory snow tires are a good start, but not all that effective when the city of Montreal's lousy administration don't order their lousy snow clearing crews to get out on the streets right after a major snow storm and clear the main streets entirely of the snow and tackle the side streets the following day.

Posted December 20, 2007 04:07 PM

Al

Winnipeg

It would seem to me that the insurance companies should be penalizing the drivers if in fact all season tires are the cause of accidents.

After all they are the ones that have to foot the bill for medical and vehicle damage. By doing so would encourage drivers to purchase winter tires if they cannot safely maneuver a vehicle without them.

In Ontario it is against the law to have studded winter tires on.

In Manitoba certain high theft and older vehicles must have electronic immobilizers installed or you can't drive them. This year the Manitoba government is studying a law to ban cell phone use in cars.

With these and other provincial laws driving your car across Canada is going to become a real challenge.

Posted December 20, 2007 04:03 PM

Izz

Winnipeg

I must admit that this does seem like a money grabbing ploy for tire and car dealers. I also find it very comical how seriously people are taking these laws.

It's funny how people will moan over tires and the price of gas when other pressing issues. I agree with the B-M-W comment but in Winnipeg bikes are near impossible to ride due to bad drivers with road rage. There is no metro set in place and the transit system is slowly declining.

So when people moan about winter tires than maybe you should look into the real issue. Ask not what you can do for your but what can your car do for you?
Have fun paying for gas suckas!

Posted December 20, 2007 04:01 PM

Bill

Calgary

Personally I hate all season radials but to legislate it is liberal fascism at its best.

Cost is a non issue I just run winter tires year round.

Are the linguistic police going to be checking the sidewalls for appropriate language?

Posted December 20, 2007 03:59 PM

Justin

Calgary

This sort of thing should have been handled with the insurance companies, not the government. They could have offered incentives for people who switched to winter tires in the winter months, by cheaper insurance rates, rebates or discounts on the cost of switching tires year after year.

I do believe in safety and every little bit helps, but a mandatory, unenforceable law is not the answer. Next thing you know there going to ban you from driving SUV's and force everyone into driving a Honda Civic, because they are safer.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:43 PM

Roch

Winnipeg

Hopefully this works better than their last idea.

In an effort to remind people how slippery the streets are, especially during the first snow fall where there are so many rear end accidents, Quebec decided to place a reminder on their licence plates.

If you can read this, tu est souviens last year?

Posted December 20, 2007 03:32 PM

zed

west

Quebec is ahead of the rest of Canada on some fronts, this being one of them (child care is another).

It should be obvious that proper tires are not a matter of preference, but necessity, as are brakes, windshields, and headlights. If you can't afford good tires in a very wintry province, you should not have a license to drive.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:28 PM

Justin

Calgary

Let me see if I've got this right. 10% of the people don't have winter tires on there car, are involved in 38% of the accidents on the road in the winter, does this mean that 62% of the rest of the accidents involve people who have winter tires???

If thats the case, then it looks like your safer with your all seasons then you are if you switch to winter ones. The numbers to me really don't add up, at least not enough to pass a law and make it mandatory.

Most accidents that happen in the winter are due to slippery road conditions, and no tire, all season, winter, or studded even, can overcome a persons overconfidence in there driving ability in the winter months.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:26 PM

Chinook

Ottawa/Gatineau

Goody - now I get to spend how much more money to live in Quebec? I have always driven with all-seasons (in Alberta, they only seemed to be used by those in the mountains) and never had any problems.

As a Quebec driver, I am more worried about the drinking and driving (0.7 BA level is still legal here) and the idiots who run red lights (by pulling out from behind my stopped car and blasting through next to me!)

Then again, having winter tires will allow me to stop faster when someone runs a red and keep me from being "involved" in an accident (vs. the other driver following established rules of the road) I would love to know the statistics for vehicles with all-seasons that "caused" accidents (and not to be confused with those who use summer tires all year as well)

Posted December 20, 2007 03:25 PM

KN

Ontario

Good idea... blame the car, not the driver. I'm thinking that snow tires are the least of their driving woes in Quebec. Teach them how to drive first, then worry about tires. What's next, helmets?

Makes me wonder what they'll come up with to prevent all the summer accidents.

Stupid.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:24 PM

Garet

Winnipeg

Why don't they try and make their citizens better drivers instead of blaming it on the tires? I used to drive a Cutlass that didn't have radials in the winter, and had a lot of torque. I managed because I knew how to drive properly. The tires were not only summer tires, but they weren't even modern tires.

Also, Beaconsfield Ray, I don't think your logic is correct. It's cheaper to run all seasons all year as opposed to running 2 sets of tires.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:15 PM

Steve

saskatchewan

Too funny!
So if the government is going to regulate what type of tires you can have on your car, where does it stop? Will they stop short of pick-pocketing you live on the streets?

I am dumbfounded at how far politicians will go to try and make things "better".....

Well, this is just example of oppressing people for a cause without actually addressing the actual problem: the problem being bad drivers.

We have them here is Sask as well and they will cause accidents, winter tires or not so Quebec, Congrats! on another bonehead government decision. The people will be forced to pay more for car expenses, taxes and likely insurance because of it.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:08 PM

Beaconsfield Ray

Four winter tires, with the special 'snow' designation, should be law across Canada.

I just love comments from people who say "I can't afford it." I suppose it's OK if you can't afford to fix your brakes, or your steering, or your lights. A vehicle is a major responsibility, if you can't afford proper maintenance, take the BMW (Bus-Metro-Walk).

And by the way, separate winter and summer tires are the same cost or cheaper over the long run, particularly if you have dedicated rims. You'll replace tires that much less often.

Posted December 20, 2007 03:04 PM

Doug

Surrey

Hmmm.Figures can lie.Or,at least can be misleading.
I suppose I might concede that the people supporint this law likely have the best of intentions.And,perhaps,just perhaps,better tires might prevent a very small number of accidents.

But I would like to have details about the accidents they studied,and a more thorough explanation of how winter tires might have prevented the accident.

In Vancouver,the snow contains an enormous amount of water.Then,after a little traffic it becomes sheer ice.NO TIRES other than those with studs,are going to help you stop,or go in these circumstances.

While conceding that winter treads are a huge benefit in certain circumstances,they are not a panacea.Any suggestion that all,or even most of these accidents could have been prevented by using winter treads,would be,at best,highly misleading.

Better drivers,and city road crews would likely have a bigger impact. Try slowing down a bit,and maybe don't tail gate the car in front of you.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:59 PM

Dhartagnan

Sudbury

Anything that increases the safety of individuals on roads is a good thing. It irritates me to hear people whine that this is a tax grab, or more money for tire dealers.

This is about safety and preserving life. Québec should be commended for taking positive action and I hope Ontario follows.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:42 PM

DM

Ontario

Dumb, dumb, dumb. I'm glad I live in Ontario, for now. This is a grab. No thought put into this one. Gee, how about the car dealers step up and include a full winter set, including install, etc. , with the purchase of a north american car, with built in theft immobilizer, built in breathalizer, and dont forget about quadruple air bags, and remove any reference to "Christmas", and how about
fuel savings rebates being made easier to swallow, and, ah, you get the picture.

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone, and I mean everyone.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:36 PM

Peter

Winnipeg

With the exception of a truck which had to have studded tires and weight in the back once the ice hit, I have never used snow tires on a vehicle.

Amazingly, being one of the "10%" I was never invlolved in any accidents in winter, in 25 years of driving in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I must be an anamoloy, since I should have had a "38%" per annum chance of being involved in an accident.

Most accidents I see in winter are caused by over aggressive driving, or another way to put it is it's icy and you're in too big a hurry to slow down.

Just another unenforceable law to mandate another person's view of social responsibility.

Sure makes me glad that Quebec doesn't have an organized crime issue, or that their overall tax rate is the lowest in Canada. Oh, they do and they aren't? Maybe their 'leaders' could focus on these two important areas which will reduce social costs a lot more than a QPP "Operation Snowjob".

Posted December 20, 2007 02:26 PM

Allan Eizinas

Simcoe

"There's about 10 per cent of the people right now that don't have winter tires on and they're involved in 38 per cent of the accidents on the road in the winter." There is the message.

Any process that will decrease carnage on our roads is a good idea. I would like to see it applied in Ontario.

As to the enforcement phase, it may be easier if car insurance coverage and accident insurance settlements after accidents reflected on whether the car(s) involved were equipped with snow tires and which were not.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:23 PM

Christopher

Toronto

If the government intends on paying my bill for new tires, not to mention having to pay to have them changed every season, I'm all for it. Otherwise, I can't afford it!

If I can't afford the tires and the tire changes (I bet garages are laughing all the way now) what makes them think I'm going to be able to pay the fine? I'll be claiming that one on my tax return.

Just like the mandatory emission-testing. I bought a brand new car and it needed e-testing (what a joke!) 3 years later when they laxed the law my car was again outside the safety zone and wouldn't you know it? It passed again.

Just like the e-testing this new tire law won't make a difference. It's the way people drive. I bet you'll see an increase in accidents because people have these "better" tires so they can drive faster.

No this law should NOT be mandatory!

Posted December 20, 2007 02:23 PM

Lindsay

Calgary

Wonderful news for all the tire centres .
Intentions are good, but sounds like a nice
hit to the consumer, but at least GST will
be 5% on the purchase.

I'm not all that convinced that snow tires will actually change peoples driving habits.Much like SUV syndrome,
people may drive more agressively believing a
false sense of security behind the wheel.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:13 PM

Luc

Buckingham

How will they monitor such an idiotic law,

It is possible that a lot of those accidents would still have happened with winter tires on, I would believe that a lot of them were caused by human error, bad driving habit or a multitude of factors. And yet those very accident were all classified as winter tire related incident just because they were driving on four season tires.

A lot of people cant afford to spend that amount of money, especialy in that time period for winter tires....

I've never had an accident and I only drove winter tires on my truck which I got rid of a year ago, my car always had four season tires and I've always been fine while being aware at the wheel.

Promote awareness, stop this non-sense.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:12 PM

cwithy

vancouver

Quebec roads are some of the worst in Canada. They should probably focus their efforts on maintaining roads and clearing them - not to mention demanding better driving standards, and having more comprehensive vehicle safety checks.

This is a costly decision that will probably give 500,000 drivers more false confidence.

Posted December 20, 2007 02:07 PM

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