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All season tires simply aren't good enough

THE LAW may say that all seasons tires are considered winter tires but police advise against them.

“We certainly recommend winter tires,” said North District West Traffic Services Sgt. Pam Scott of Terrace RCMP.

There is a sign on the way to Kitimat just outside of Terrace that indicates winter tires or chains are required to travel along Hwy 37 South or else drivers will get a fine; this doesn't include all seasons.

“People are silly not to have winter tires on. It just makes sense.”

A visitor to town rented a car and was surprised to find it had all season tires on it because she had to drive to Kitimat.

Scott got a call from the person asking how the rental car companies could get away with all seasons.

“...because they're all seasons and in Terrace, they (vehicles) don't have to have them (winter tires) on,” said Scott.

“For safety's sake, you have to have winter tires.”

According to the law, all seasons tires are included under winter tires; however, Scott says police will check for the snowflake symbol on the side of the tire; if there's no snowflake, it's not a good winter tire.

Police have seen many vehicles in ditches so far with the snow and rain that we've had in the last couple of weeks and that includes tractor-trailer units.

Luckily those have only been accidents where motorists are injured, she said, and as of Nov. 25 there haven't been any fatal accidents on the roads around the city, she added.

“A lot of it is driving too fast for the conditions and not having proper tires on,” said Scott.

The 100 km/h highway speed limit is only for ideal road conditions and not for snow and ice, she added.

And tires have to have at least 3.5 mm of tread to be considered safe, said Scott.

The “Toonie test” can be used to check for adequate tire tread before going out on the road; a Toonie is placed down into the tread and if the tread reaches up to the gold in the middle of the coin, there's enough tread on the tire.

Scott also advises drivers to keep an eye out for moose as there seem to be many  around this year.

“I guess it's with the snowfall early in the season,” she said, adding moose can come out of the ditch and suddenly be on the road.

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