Winter is coming, vehicles need to be ready as of Oct. 1

Winter Tires and Chains


Rapid changes in elevation and weather can make highway conditions in B.C. unpredictable during the winter. You may start a trip in sunshine but face stretches of slush, ice, heavy snowfall or compact snow along the way.


Most B.C. highways have high mountain passes where you are likely to encounter winter weather in October. Statistics show that winter related vehicle accidents increase in October. Winter tires perform better on ice than summer tires.

Drivers must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout the province from October 1 to March 31.


Sections of highways requiring winter tires or chains onboard are marked with roadside signs. For passenger vehicles, chains on summer tires are not an acceptable substitute for winter tires on signed highways.


Should you go beyond the signs without the proper equipment you may be turned around by RCMP, CVSE or another policing agency, and be subject to a fine.

Safe Winter Driving Starts with Safe Winter Tires

Do your tires make the grade? The Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Branch are out in force to remind travellers that winter driving conditions on our highways mean winter driving restrictions are also in effect. Your tires are one of our top priorities. Are you ready to shift into winter?

Motorcycle Drivers

 Motorcycles are exempt from the requirement of winter tires and chains.

Motorcyclists should use common sense when deciding whether to drive on B.C. highways between October 1 and March 31.

Motorcycles should not be on the road:

  • in bad weather
  • when the forecast is for bad weather
  • if the temperature is near or below freezing
  • if road conditions include snow, slush or icy conditions

Police may turn all vehicles around, including motorcycles, if they think conditions are unsafe.

DriveBC is an excellent source for highway conditions and weather forecasts.