By Rhonda Massad
Though the program to have a snowflake symbol on all winter tires has been in the works for several years, as of Dec. 15, all winter tires will have to have the mountain and snowflake symbol indicating they conform to the new standards.
From Dec. 15 -March 15, all tires mounted on a taxi or passenger vehicles must be specifically designed for winter driving.
Offenders will be required to pay a fine ranging from $200-$300. No demerit points will be deducted for such an offence.
The regulation introduced by the government followed the Transport Minister’s consultations with several groups, including the Association des marchands de pneus du Québec, representatives of the Ministry of Transport itself, CAA-Quebec, and certain tire merchants associations. These specialists made recommendations, most of which were adopted by the government.
According to CAA Quebec’s website, regular all season tires lose elasticity when the temperature dips below 7°C (45°F). Winter tires are constructed with a special compound that allows them to retain more elasticity in cold temperatures. Technologically engineered tread designs prevent snow build-up and improve ice and snow traction allowing better grip on the road and better control of the vehicle.
The snowflake icon is used as a reference for enforcement of the act because it denotes that the adherence of the tire bearing that icon is 110 per cent superior to that of a benchmark all-season tire.
Further information on tires regulations can be found at www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca
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