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.
Kind of wish Michigan had a mandatory snow tire law. Even a no summer tire in winter law would do. The amount of people driving around on summer only tires in the middle of December concerns the hell out of me.
11-06-2012 07:20 AM
My former car. Contour SVT had ultrahigh performance Summer only tires on it for 13 years, Summer Winter, Snow, rain, who cares.
I grew up driving rear wheel drive cars with crummy tires. ANY tire with actual tread on it with front wheel drive is a miracle compared to those rear wheel bald tire nightmares I drove all Winter as a teen!
So yeah I never once had a single issue leaving the Summer only tires on My ride in Wisconsin Winters. Snow, ice freezing rain.. nada.
Now usually Michgan does get more snow that Wisconsin..
I would never bother with snow tires.
Way too much bother. Especially with TPMS systems and all.
YOUR needs and desires may vary.[cheers]
11-06-2012 09:39 AM
I bet there is a great second hand wheel/tire market in Quebec as a consequence of that law. It makes sense to me from a safety point to require that in certain regions. Just like some mountainous regions in the US, they have mandatory chain laws for certain stretches depending on conditions
11-06-2012 01:24 PM
Here in Colorado the chain law is only mandatory for trucks. For other vehicles the law also references "or adequate tires" which most intelligent people would assume means snow tires. However, a drive to the local ski areas on a snowy day will prove that there's lots of numb nuts who aren't very intelligent (especially flatlanders who think all-season tires are "adequate" on a 10% grade and a foot of snow). If you do get stuck and block traffic the state patrol "will" give you a ticket (if they can get to you). In the mean time you have caused unbelievable delays and pissed off fellow travelers very quickly.