11-05-2012, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southeast, MI
What I Drive: 2012 Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat Titanium
FF Reputation: 1
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0
I like this mandatory snow tire idea. At least where the temperatures stay under 45 F for 5 or 6 months a year, obviously not in Southern Florida or like places. Cars are so much safer wearing real winter tires in the winter.
Sacré Pneu! Quebec Mandates Winter Tires and the People Rejoice—or at Least Don’t Revolt
Drive down the streets of Montreal in the winter and you’ll notice a curious automotive fashion trend: Aftermarket wheels are everywhere, from high-end rims on Audis to rusted steelies on Saturns. It’s no style statement. Rather, it’s the result of a 2008 law mandating that all passenger vehicles registered in Quebec wear winter tires between December 15 and March 15 whether they’re parked on Sainte-Catherine Street or trudging up the James Bay Road. It’s the only such requirement in North America.
Car owners who don’t comply face fines of up to $300. (That’s Canadian; as this is written, exchange rates mean that in U.S. dollars it’s right around . . . $300.) Quebec makes exceptions only for vehicles registered outside the province or for snowbirds who spend their winters in less hazardous climates. Starting in 2014, approved rubber must bear the winter-tire pictogram of a snowflake and a mountain.
There’s sound reasoning behind the policy. As anyone who lives in the Snowbelt should know, winter-tire treads are molded with compounds that don’t stiffen when temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. That gives them better grip than all-season tires, not only on snow and ice, but also on dry, cold pavement. Between 80 and 90 percent of Quebec drivers already knew that and, therefore, shod their cars appropriately prior to 2008. The 10 to 20 percent who didn’t, however, were involved in two-thirds of the wintertime accidents.
According to Guillaume Beaurivage, Transports Québec spokesman, the winter-tire law has yielded an 18-percent reduction in accidents over pre-2008 levels, a number that’s held steady for the past five years. Serious accidents—those resulting in death or severe injury—dropped by 36 percent. Another interesting government statistic: About 96 percent of Quebec drivers say they agree with the law. A similar mandate in the U.S. would’ve inspired guys in tricorn hats to publicly misquote Thomas Paine, but Quebecois gave a collective Gallic shrug.
2012 Focus specs: http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2012_Focus_Specs.pdf
2013 Focus specs: http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2013_Focus_Specs.pdf
2013 Focus ST specs: http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2013_FocusST_Specs.pdf