New guidelines for winter tires

North Okanagan residents are urged to check their tires before hitting the road this winter.

North Okanagan residents are urged to check their tires before hitting the road this winter.

Rules regarding winter tires have changed in B.C. between Oct. 1 and March 31.

“Chains are only required for commercial vehicles and residential vehicles must use winter (snowflake) tires or M&S (mud and snow) tires,” said Gord Molendyk, with the RCMP.

“For the safety of you and your family, the RCMP recommend the snowflake tires in the mountains because they’re designed for those conditions.”

That position is also held by the Ministry of Transportation.

Signs are posted along the designated highways to advise motorists where winter tires are required.

This includes Highway 97 to Kelowna and Kamloops and Silver Star Road.

“We recommend you start to take precautions if you go over the Coquihalla Highway or the Rogers Pass,” said Molendyk.

There is a $125 fine for not having the proper tires on your vehicle.

“If you get involved in a motor vehicle accident, you could face some charges,” said Molendyk.

Tires must also have 3.5 millimetres of tread.

“Put a penny with the head upside down in the tread and if you can see the Queen’s head visibly, you don’t have enough tread,” said Molendyk.