As the first snowflakes of the season fall upon downtown Vernon everyone is asking "Do you have snow tires?" "Are you getting snow tires?" Well your answer had better be "Yes, I am getting/ have gotten snow tires" because it is now the law.
Having snow tires lower your physical risk but now also your financial risk. The Okanagan RCMP would like everyone to know that not having winter tires on certain highways can cost you $121? Wow that would sure cut in to the Christmas budget.
Signs are posted on designated highway areas where snow tires are required. When you come to a posted sign on the highway stating “Use winter tires or carry chains beyond this point, October 1 - April 30,” you must be ready to install chains or have proper winter tread tires before proceeding. Should you go beyond that point without the proper equipment, you may be subject to a fine.
Until this year the signs were for educational purposes only but this year the police will be enforcing the rule in those areas where conditions are known to be hazardous. Road blocks may even be set up.
What denotes a true winter tire. There will have a symbol of a mountain with a snowflake within it on the side. RCMP state that tires with just snowflake or the word "snow" are not necessarily made for winter driving and therefore may not be considered sufficient for severe winter conditions.
We can grumble and complain about "more regulations" and "cost" but in the end the question is really "How much is your life and the lives of those you love worth?"