Montreal

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 two weeks earlier than usual.

If you live in Quebec, hopefully they're on your car, because the deadline is 2 weeks earlier than usual

Some people wait until the last minute to get their tires installed, but mechanics have noticed that this year, drivers were more prescient. (Jean-François Poudrier/Radio-Canada)

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

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.