It may be spring, but the provincial government is reminding motorists that winter tire regulations have been extended until April 30.

The reasoning for the extension, according to the Ministry of Transportation, is to account for possible snow on Interior and Northern mountain highways. The ministry said snowfall is still possible in many regions of the province.

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Normally, winter tires or chains are required on most B.C. highways between Oct. 1 and March 31.

“Winter tire regulations are currently in effect for most B.C. highways, and people should ensure their vehicle is equipped with tires with the mountain/snowflake or mud and snow (M + S) symbol when travelling on designated routes,” the ministry said in a press release.

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“The tires must be in good condition and have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimetres. For rural highways and mountain passes, tires with the mountain/snowflake symbol provide the best traction and handling.”

Notably, the Sea To Sky Highway in the Lower Mainland and the Malahat on Vancouver Island have not been included in the winter tire extension. The regulations for those two highways will be lifted on March 31.

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Here are some tips from the Ministry of Transportation for travelling in winter driving conditions:

  • Check the weather forecast and adjust travel times to more favourable conditions, or choose alternative routes.
  • For current road conditions, check DriveBC before leaving, as well as the nearly 800 highway webcam views available at more than 400 locations throughout B.C.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement while driving, but bring warm clothing (winter boots, coat, gloves and hat) in case getting out of the vehicle is required.
  • Have an emergency plan and ensure the vehicle is equipped with a windshield scraper and snow brush, food and water, a first-aid kit and other emergency supplies.
  • If stuck or stranded, do not panic. Stay with the vehicle for safety and warmth and if a cellphone is available, call for roadside assistance. If there is an emergency, call 911.
  • Heavy snowfall or rapidly warming spring temperatures can increase the risk of avalanches in some areas. This can cause temporary highway closures while ministry avalanche experts ensure safe conditions. During these times, obey all traffic control personnel.
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Winter tire extension reminder for B.C. Interior highways

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