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CAA urges drivers to change to winter tires early

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Change to winter tires early – Although winter tires are mandatory on vehicles only by December 1st, the CAA-Quebec recently launched what they are calling the ‘National Appointment Week for Winter Tires’ (La Semaine nationale de prise de rendez-vous pour les pneus d’hiver) and are suggesting you book a date for your tire change sometime in October or early November. Their reasoning behind it is simple – the mandatory date to change your tires is earlier this year (from December 15th last year) and not only will there be less time, but there is also a labour shortage which could lead to many people scrambling to meet the deadline, especially those who wait until the last minute. Perhaps it is time to think about make your appointment earlier.

Winter tires are law in Quebec
Winter tires are law in Quebec as of December 1st every year

Is it mandatory to use winter tires in Quebec?

Unless you drive hundreds of kilometers a week or planning a road trip, it just might makes sense. The Greater Montreal area has seen snowstorms as early as November or at least significant accumulations with mixtures of snow, rain and freezing temperatures. Without winter tires on, vehicles slip and slide all over the roads and accidents abound, some even fatal. “The first snow is too late. You might think there is more time before December 1st (or even) have summer tires rolling in December, which is illegal and dangerous. A well-fitted vehicle is not just a matter of law or date. It’s mainly a matter of common sense and road safety,” said Pierre-Serge Labbé, CAA-Quebec Vice President of Automotive Services. That is why it’s important to think about winter tires earlier in the season.

when do I need to put winter tires on?

Winter tires have been mandatory for drivers in Quebec since 2008, and for good reason. The rubber compound of winter tires is designed to have the flexibility needed for a better grip on road surfaces in temperatures as low as -40C. And ‘All-Season’ tires just don’t cut it because as soon as the temperature drops below 7°C, or when there is ice or snow on the road, the rubber compound of the tires harden and loses their grip. Breaking on ice at 30km/hr on winter tires takes approximately 30.1 metres to stop, versus All-season tires at 44.8 metres. An almost 15 metre difference could be a very significant factor when it comes to avoiding accidents. If your vehicle is not equipped with winter tires by the official date of December 1st, you could face fines from $200 to $300 – plus costs. Or even receive a $60 fine, plus costs and 2 Demerit Points for ‘failure to adapt your driving to weather and road conditions’. So why wait? Be smart and be safe – the winter season is soon upon us. Here is what CAA-Quebec, in collaboration with MétéoMédia, recommends for when winter tires should be installed on vehicles in Quebec’s largest cities: MONTREAL November 10th, QUEBEC, GATINEAU and SHERBROOKE November 5th, SEPT-ÎLES October 20th, VAL-D’OR and SAGUENAY October 25th RIMOUSKI and GASPÉ October 30th.

By: Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

Other articles:

Which Montreal roads are closed this weekend?

Quebec Winter Tires – Checking your snow tires

New Winter driving laws with huge fines

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