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Winter tires required on Malahat, other island highways this week

Winter tire sign on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langford, B.C., as seen on Dec. 13, 2021. (CTV News) Winter tire sign on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langford, B.C., as seen on Dec. 13, 2021. (CTV News)
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With fall officially underway, drivers should prepare to have winter tires installed on their cars if they plan to drive on the Malahat highway and other select highways on Vancouver Island.

Starting on Oct. 1, winter tires or all-season mud and snow (M+S) tires, will be required to travel on many highways across B.C., including the Malahat stretch of Highway 1.

Winter tires will also be required on Highway 14, and Highway 18 and Pacific Marine Road, which connect the western coastal communities of Port Renfrew to the rest of southern Vancouver Island, and on Highway 19 north of Campbell River.

A map of where winter tires are required on Vancouver Island beginning on Oct. 1 can be found below.

Winter tires will be required on these roadways until March 31, 2023.

(Province of B.C.)While both winter tires and all-season tires qualify for the seasonal tire change, the province says that tires with three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbols are the best for "harsh winter conditions."

"All-season tires with the M+S (Mud and Snow) symbol offer better traction than summer tires and meet the minimum legal requirement for a winter tire. But, in severe winter conditions, they are less effective than the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake tires," reads the province's informational website on winter driving.

The province adds that all tires on a vehicle should match, and that they should have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres.

Drivers who do not have winter tires installed on their vehicles in a designated winter tire area can face a fine of $121.

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