It's Dec. 1 — do you know where your winter tires are?
If you live in Quebec, hopefully they're on your car, because the deadline is 2 weeks earlier than usual
If you live in Quebec, your winter tires should be on by now.
Dec. 1 is the deadline to have winter tires installed this year if you drive a taxi or a passenger vehicle — a full two weeks earlier than in years past.
By law, you must have them on until March 15. If you don't, and you get caught, you're looking at a $200 to $300 fine.
Drivers from Ontario or elsewhere passing through Quebec, take note: the tire law doesn't apply to you.
Some people wait until the last minute to get their tires installed, but mechanics have noticed that this year, drivers were more prescient — perhaps because they didn't have much of a choice.
Much of the southern part of the province was hit with a major snowstorm in mid-November, and that marked the beginning of the mad rush to get winter tires installed.
"You have people lining up in the morning at 5 in the morning, or 4:30 in the morning to come for a tire change," said Ross Clow, service manager at Gordon's garage in Montreal.
"You're taking 100-120 people a day and turning away 30-40 people a day."
CAA-Quebec says drivers should change their tires in October, when temperatures start to get a little crisper.
That's because summer and all-season tires begin to harden and lose their grip when temperatures drop below roughly 7 C. Winter tires not only perform better in snowy conditions, but on cold, dry pavement too.
with files from Sarah Leavitt