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Yukon RCMP recommend making winter tires mandatory

RCMP Cpl. Shawn Pollard, head of the RCMP's Yukon traffic unit, says all-season tires are fine for Toronto winters but not for the Yukon.
Cpl. Shawn Pollard says all-season tires are not enough to handle driving conditions in Yukon winters. 1:58

Winter tires should be mandatory in the Yukon, says RCMP Cpl. Shawn Pollard, head of the RCMP's Yukon traffic unit.

He says all-season tires are fine for Toronto winters but not for Yukon.

"Quite often we see vehicles in the ditch or colliding with other vehicles that are running on all-season tires or very poor tires," he said.

Whitehorse driver Jesse Winter says he's never had a problem with all-season tires and doesn't think a law requiring the use of winter tires is necessary. He says driving safely is more important than driving with winter tires. 

"The biggest problem with winter driving is that a lot of people just don't drive to the conditions," he said. "They think, 'Oh oh I've got a big SUV, I should just be able to drive the same as I do on dry roads.'"

Pollard agrees driving to the conditions is important but says that's not enough.

"As it gets colder, an all-season tire just gets harder and harder, while a winter tire — the composition of it will be much softer and it will grip much better."

There are few statistics on the effectiveness of winter tires but the Quebec government released a study in 2011 showing winter accidents decreased by 17 per cent after a 2008 law made winter tires mandatory in the province.

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