Friday June 5, 2015


Local News


 Winter Driving Tips


An Illustrated Guide to Driving Safely in the Snow

Driving Safely on Icy or Snowy Roads


f you live in a part of the country with even occasional severe winter weather, you need to know how to drive safely on icy or snowy roads. This guide is designed to help you prepare for driving in winter weather, get your car ready to go when it’s time to venture out, have a safe trip, and survive if things go wrong.

Before the first snowflake falls or the temperature drops to below freezing, it is time to think about preparing to drive in winter weather. After all, as Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

So what needs to be done to be really prepared for winter driving? The answer is three-fold: prepare the car, prepare a survival kit, and prepare yourself.


Visit to read the full release.




Winterizing The Car

What ICBC, the RCMP and the Provincial Government say about snow tires

Compiled by staff/Voice


ronically, yesterday, just as the RCMP were about to put out their Get A Grip release, the Chilliwack community was hit hard when a 19-year-old woman tragically lost her life after the car she was driving spun off Hwy. 1 at Annis Rd. Police later attributed the accident to not having snow tires.


This should never have happened and a young life was lost simply due to a lack of four snow tires and underscores how important it is to winterize your car. Driving in inclement weather without snow tires is like driving a car that's drunk. Why do it? Driving with one headlight or tail light or can lead to a crash too. It's best to check everything especially good tires.


ICBC says people in the Lower Mainland need to be prepared for a snowy winter. If your car doesn’t have the proper snow tires and if you end up blocking traffic, you could get a ticket. And, if you get into an accident then you’re liable. Are you prepared?


Below are three releases from the BC Government, The RCMP and ICBC



BC Government: First Blast of Winter Reminds Us To Check Tires 

Nov. 24, 2010 BC Government Release


Winter tire safety checks are underway this week in the Hope-Fraser Canyon area to ensure vehicles are properly equipped for winter driving, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond announced today.

 “Safety is our top priority,” said Bond. “With winter weather already hitting most of the province, we want to remind motorists to be prepared by installing good winter-tread tires, properly maintaining their vehicle and visiting DriveBC before planning a trip.”

The Province’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) branch and the RCMP will be conducting tire checks on major highways and companion roads in various locations in the Hope-Fraser Canyon area.

Winter tires improve driving safety by providing better traction, braking and handling during frost, snow, slush and icy conditions. Motorists are encouraged to use four good winter-tread tires even in areas that see little snow, as temperatures of seven degrees or lower can affect tire performance. In addition, check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather.

“Travelling in winter conditions can be challenging and I encourage anyone driving to have proper winter tires,” said Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner. “Keeping drivers as safe as possible along our roads and highways is important to myself and our government.”

Drivers of commercial vehicles over 27,000 kg that operate outside the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island are required to use winter tires and carry tire chains now through April 30. About 250 “use winter tires or carry chains beyond this point” warning signs are prominent in mountainous terrain throughout the province.

 “While we don’t have mandatory winter tire regulations in B.C., we strongly encourage people to use them. Always remember to follow the three key elements of safe winter driving: stay alert, slow down and stay in control” added Bond.

 For the latest highway conditions before planning a trip, visit:


RCMP: First Blast of Winter Reminds Us To Check Tires 

Nov. 25, 2010 RCMP Release

Around this time every year, the same question is asked: Do I really need winter tires? The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s is why: Rubber tends to harden in cold weather thus reducing friction and stopping capability of the vehicle. The new generation winter tires maintain their elasticity and gripping power at lower temperatures (-35 C and bellow), whereas all season tires tend to stiffen and lose gripping power around 0 C. The improved gripping power at lower temperatures has its benefits. A study showed that winter tires reduce stopping distances by up to 25% or between 2 to 3 car lengths. That could be the difference between a safe stop and a fender bender or worse.

 Motor Vehicle Act
Section 208 (1) For the purpose of this section, "winter tire" means a tire that is:
(a) advertised or represented by its manufacturer or a person in the business of selling tires to be a tire intended principally for winter use, and that provides, or is designed to provide, adequate traction in snow or mud; and
(b) in the condition respecting tread wear and other particulars the regulations prescribe.
(2) The minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act may, by public notice or by placing signs, prohibit vehicles from being driven or operated on a highway that are not equipped with chains, winter tires or sanding devices, or a combination of these the minister considers adequate and necessary in view of prevailing road conditions.
(3) For the purposes of a prosecution under this section, the onus is on the defendant to prove that a tire alleged not to be a winter tire is in fact a winter tire.

Are all season tires considered to be winter tires? NO. All season radials are not by law approved winter tires because they are not intended principally for winter use. Winter tires will have a symbol of a mountain peak with a snowflake on the sidewalls. Tires marked with the letters “M+S”, or “mud and snow”, provide safe all-weather condition, but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions. The “M+S” rating is not a reliable indicator of a good winter tire. Consumers should research their tire options and make an informed decision that may save lives on an icy road. The law also says a winter tire must have no less than 3.5 mm of rubber tread on it.

It is important for drivers and vehicle owners to understand the difference between all season tires and winter tires. Every year there are countless collisions that could have been avoided if the vehicles had been equipped with proper tires. No one should have to experience a preventable collision. Furthermore, the cost of physical injuries and pain cannot be truly measured in dollars and cents.

If you plan on driving on snow or ice covered roads, make sure you have the proper tires on your vehicle. One some of the highways outside of the Greater Vancouver area, you could be stopped and turned back if the road conditions are such that winter tires are required to travel safely. Please have the proper tires during this winter.

In addition to winter tires, here are some tips for safe winter driving:

• Get your vehicle ready for winter in the fall.
• Don’t drive under the influence.
• Pack an emergency kit.
• Learn and practice winter driving techniques before you need them.
• Plan your trip and tell your friends & family. Check road and weather conditions.
• Remove all snow from your vehicle before each trip.
• Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather.
• Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads.
• Travel with a fully charged cell phone for emergency situations.
• SLOW DOWN and WEAR your seatbelt.

“Dedicated to Improving public safety on our roadways

Released by: Cpl. Jamie CHUNG Media Relations Officer "E" Division Traffic Services HQ 306C-20338 65th Avenue, Langley, BC V2Y 2X3 Office: (604)539-2718


ICBC: Top five tips to help customers prepare for challenging winter road conditions

VANCOUVER, Nov. 24 - With below-freezing temperatures across B.C. set to turn into substantial snowfall by tomorrow, and then perhaps rain and black ice on the roads by the weekend, ICBC has these following tips to help you stay safe on the roads:

Equip your vehicle: We issued an information bulletin earlier this week to answer customers' questions about winter tires and insurance, but preparing your vehicle for winter driving comes down to much more than just choice of tires. Don't use cruise control on slippery roads; check your tire pressure as they can deflate quickly in the cold; low-beam lights are more effective in the snow; and keep your gas tank full to prevent freezing in extreme temperatures. Keep a blanket in your car just in case you are unfortunate enough to get stranded in these wintery conditions. You can find more tips on

Adapt our behaviour: While preparing our vehicles for winter driving is vital, nothing is more important than adjusting our behaviour as drivers. When we see a speed limit - say, 90km on a highway - that's the limit in ideal road conditions. Conditions right now are not ideal so slow down and leave more space between you and other vehicles on the road to give you the time and distance needed to best avoid any potential hazards.

When things get slippery: One of the most challenging road hazards at this time of year is black ice - it's virtually impossible to see ahead of time, and that's why it's so important to slow down and try and anticipate what's ahead by seeing how the vehicles around you are moving on the road. While it can be a natural reaction to slam on the brakes, the best thing you can do is try and slow your vehicle down to regain traction - ease off the accelerator and shift to a lower gear if possible. If you need to use the brake, be aware of the differences between using standard and ABS brakes.

Know your journey: One of the most challenging aspects of driving in B.C. is that road conditions can vary greatly depending on where you are in the province. If you're setting out from the Lower Mainland and driving to the Southern Interior, for example, you need to know that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate winter tires to be required on certain roads and highways. If you are driving on these roads without winter tires, police can ticket you and make you turn back. is a great resource to consult ahead of time.

If the worst happens: If you are unfortunate enough to be in a crash we know it can be a frightening and stressful situation, but we're dedicated in providing a hassle-free experience and we're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist our customers. Customers in the Lower Mainland can reach us on our Dial-a-Claim line by calling 604-520-8222. Those who are elsewhere in, or outside of, B.C. can dial 1-800-910-4222. Download ICBC's Claims Card to help you record the information you need at the scene of a crash.

At ICBC, we're committed to our 3.2 million customers and their safety on the road. We license and insure drivers and vehicles across the province through our service centres, plus a network of more than 900 independent brokers and government agent offices. Claims customers are served through local offices and our award-winning Dial-a-Claim call centre. We add value to B.C. communities - our road safety investments help create safer roads, lead to fewer crashes, and help keep our rates stable. To find out more, visit


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