New Brunswick

Mandatory snow-tire policy ruled out for N.B.

The Department of Public Safety in New Brunswick says it won't make winter tires mandatory, despite the success of such a program in Quebec.

The Department of Public Safety in New Brunswick says it has no intention of making winter tires mandatory for the province's drivers, despite the success of such a program in Quebec.

Department officials say they do not want to place an undue financial burden on New Brunswick drivers, or those who don't drive when the weather is bad.

Snow tires have been mandatory on all passenger vehicles, taxis and rental cars in Quebec since December 2008.

Vehicle owners in Quebec without snow tires on their vehicles between Dec. 15 and March 15 face fines between $200 and $300.

In early October, the Quebec government released preliminary data suggesting the mandatory snow tire policy had reduced the winter accident rates in the province.

"For Québec as a whole, an 18 per cent reduction is observed in the number of road accident victims during the period of the year when winter tires are compulsory, compared to 13 per cent for the rest of the year," states the news release.

Kevin Lucas, the manager of Bamford's Collision Service Ltd. in Fredericton, said about half the clients in his shop don't use snow tires.

"A summer tire or all-season tire is a harder compound tire that doesn't respond well on cold roads, not to mention ice or snow," he said.

"I would recommend to people to put snow tires on their cars. But it might be hard on our business if they do it."