Quebec drivers are lining up at garages Tuesday to have their winter tires installed before the midnight deadline imposed by the province.
Snow tires are mandatory on all vehicles in Quebec between Dec.15 and March 15. Drivers who hit the roads with regular tires tomorrow risk a fine of $200 to $300.
With Quebec now in the third winter of the snow tire law, Transport Quebec officials say the province's roads are safer.
According to the ministry, in the first two years of the law, winter accidents were down 18 per cent.
Move deadline up: Montreal snow chief
As more and more Quebec vehicles are equipped with snow tires, some officials are calling on the government to move up the annual deadline.
'The 15th of December is a little bit late. We still have people who don't have their snow tires.' — Yves Girard, City of Montreal snow removal director
Yves Girard, director of Montreal's snow removal services, said snow creates hazardous road conditions much earlier in the year, as shown by the dozens of centimetres of snow that fell on Montreal last week.
He suggests moving the deadline to Nov. 15.
"The 15th of December is a little bit late. We still have people who don't have their snow tires and that makes very, very problems with the circulation of traffic on the streets and of course on provincial roads," Girard said.
Snow tire logo coming
Consumers can soon look for a special logo on tires to ensure they are certified for winter use.
Starting in 2014, the Quebec government will require manufacturers to put a logo showing a mountain with a superimposed snowflake.
Tires without the logo will have to be equipped with studs.
Snow tire design has evolved as they have become more popular, with manufacturers using special rubber composite to keep the tire surface soft regardless of how cold it gets.
According to the manufacturers, the soft rubber compound, along with special tread patterns, make it easier for drivers to brake and steer.