The province announced on Thursday that winter tire regulations have been extended to April 30 on many B.C. highways, including Highway 3 and 3B, to account for potential spring snowfall. Jay Brown, of S&T Tire, was busy repairing a winter tire at the East Trail shop.

Winter tire rules extended for B.C. highways

The regulation has been extended to April 30 on many B.C. roadway, including Highway 3 and 3B

Roads are clear in the valley, so most drivers are likely getting ready to change out their winter tires for summers.

However, winter tires are a must until April 30 for all vehicles travelling B.C.’s highway passes – including Highway 3 from the Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass.

“This winter, the regulations have been extended to April 30 from March 31 on select highways, most of which are located in the interior and northern parts of the province,” the province announced Thursday. “Road conditions can change quickly and snowfall is still possible in these regions. Drivers are reminded that winter tire regulations have been extended to April 30, on many highways to account for early spring snowfall.”

While maintenance crews strive to keep routes safe and in the best possible condition, the ministry reminds commuters to exercise caution and slow down when they encounter bad weather or limited visibility. Driving to current conditions improves safety for everyone on the road.

Crashes can be prevented when people are prepared.

Helpful tips for travelling in winter driving conditions include:

• Check the weather forecast and adjust travel times to more favourable conditions, or choose alternative routes.

• For current road conditions, check DriveBC before leaving, as well as the nearly 800 highway webcam views available at more than 400 locations throughout B.C.

• Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement while driving, but bring warm clothing (winter boots, coat, gloves and hat) in case getting out of the vehicle is required.

• Have an emergency plan and ensure the vehicle is equipped with a windshield scraper and snow brush, food and water, a first-aid kit and other emergency supplies.

• If stuck or stranded, do not panic. Stay with the vehicle for safety and warmth and if a cellphone is available, call for roadside assistance. If there is an emergency, call 911.

Heavy snowfall or rapidly warming spring temperatures can increase the risk of avalanches in some areas. This can cause temporary highway closures while ministry avalanche experts ensure safe conditions.

During these times, obey all traffic control personnel.

The Sea To Sky Highway in the Lower Mainland and Malahat on Vancouver Island have not been included in the winter tire extension, and will see the regulations lifted on March 31.

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