In BC, all four wheels of a passenger vehicle must use M+S or mountain/snowflake tires and commercial vehicles must carry chains on most major highways between October 1 and March 31. Studded tires are permitted between October 1 and April 30.
Sections of highways requiring winter tires or chains onboard are marked with roadside signs. Maps showing which roads require winter tires can be found on the ministry's web page.
While RCMP, CVSE, and other policing agencies can prevent you from travelling and issue tickets if your vehicle is not properly equipped for road conditions, driving without winter tires will not void your insurance if you have a claim. It also won't mean you're automatically at-fault in a crash. However, if you get in a crash where winter tires could have helped, not having them may affect whether -- or how much -- you are at fault.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure encourages drivers to always drive to the road conditions and choose the best tires possible. Tires with the winter mountain/snowflake symbol provide the best level of traction and safety in severe snow and ice conditions.
The ministry has increased its commitment and funding in support of the multi-agency "Shift into Winter" campaign. In partnership with the ministry's road safety partners, this safety initiative reminds motorists to prepare their vehicles, check DriveBC and to drive to road conditions. For more information visit shiftintowinter.ca.