Quebec's mandatory winter tire law starts Monday
Starting Dec. 15, drivers caught driving without winter tires will face fines between $200 and $300.
From Quebec's Highway Safety Code:
"Between 15 December to 15 March, the owner of a taxi or passenger vehicle registered in Quebec may not put the vehicle into operation unless it is equipped with tires specifically designed for winter driving, in compliance with the standards prescribed by government regulation. The prohibition also applies to any person renting out passenger vehicles not equipped with that type of tires."
"There will be no warnings," warned provincial police spokeswoman Joyce Kemp. "We've been talking about this for a while, so everybody knows that the law is going into effect Monday, so everyone should be equipped."
The majority of Quebec drivers already have all-season radials, according to the province's auto insurance board, but the new law created a huge demand that many retailers could not meet.
"It was an unprecedented year," said Jay Zinniger, owner of Talon Tires in Montreal. "We began selling winter tires in August."
Many model sizes have completely sold out, he said.
Demand also came from Ontario, Zinniger said, with drivers living near the Quebec border hunting down winter tires, even if they aren't mandatory there.
"They've been told that a lot of the tires have been taken to Quebec in response to the law," he said.
The new interest in winter tires is likely related to the harsh winter eastern Ontario experienced last year, Zinniger said.
Quebec's winter tire law makes them mandatory from Dec. 15 to March 15 every year.