PEI

P.E.I. to study winter tires in accidents

Police on P.E.I. have been asked by the province's transportation minister to start taking note of whether vehicles involved in accidents have winter tires installed.

Police on P.E.I. have been asked by the province's transportation minister to start taking note of whether vehicles involved in accidents have winter tires installed.

'Our approach is to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, and to see what happens in Quebec.'— Dean Morin, Canadian Automobile Association

Ron MacKinley told CBC News Wednesday the data will be used to help the government decide whether winter tires should be mandatory on the Island.

Winter tires are mandatory in Quebec, where a similar study showed a strong connection between having winter tires and avoiding accidents. During the winter of 2005, that province found only 10 per cent of drivers didn't have winter tires, but they were involved in 40 per cent of accidents.

The Canadian Automobile Association says while that is strong evidence that winter tires are safer, making them mandatory is still a tough sell.

"There is, of course, a cost associated with these tires," said Dean Morin, communications manager with the CAA.

"Our approach is to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, and to see what happens in Quebec, and to look at the results from that before moving ahead.'

But MacKinley said what works in Quebec may not work on P.E.I. He wants data from the Island.

"There's quite a bit of difference driving here with 138,000 people, compared to those major cities where there's six, seven million people," he said.

MacKinley said there is already a space on the accident forms for the type of tires on the vehicles, and it's just a matter of police being more consistent in filling out that part of the form. He said he'll be getting accident reports complete with tire data every two weeks for the rest of the winter.

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