Winter will soon be in full swing in the East Kootenay, as all drivers must have a set of winter tires on their vehicles as of Tuesday, October 1st.
According to WorkSafe BC, police reports estimate an average of 236 casualty collisions in December between 2014 and 2018, which is an increase of 87 percent from the 126 collisions on average in the month of October.
The Winter Driving Safety Alliance with cooperation from WorkSafe BC, along with other organizations have launched their 11th annual Shift Into Winter Campaign.
The campaign launch coincides with the day drivers must have a matching set of winter tires on their vehicle with at least 3.5 mm of tread depth, while commercial vehicles are required to be equipped with chains.
“The minimum depth that we are looking at to address with drivers and what you’re going to be sent to a tire shop for is between 3 and 4/32nds (of an inch), that tire has pretty much had it, and isn’t going to perform on a winter road at all,” said Sgt. Don Erichson, of RCMP East Kootenay Traffic Services. “We’re going to be out there all month long at various road checks throughout the East Kootenay area checking vehicles, bringing attention to the different defects that need to be addressed.”
Erichson said that in addition to tires, traffic officers will also be inspecting windshields, headlights, and any steering defects or difficulties.
WorkSafe BC said black ice, snow, reduced visibility and fewer daytime hours all pose a risk to drivers in the winter and that motorists must be prepared and equipped for the conditions.
A few safety tips from The Winter Driving Safety Alliance include:
- Install a set of four matching winter tires.
- Give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle
(Article by Ryley McCormack, MyEastKootenayNow.com staff)