Eleven vehicles were turned around during a winter tire check along Highway 3 near Castlegar on Oct. 22.
West Kootenay Traffic Services Cpl. Chris Wolfram said between 2,000 and 3,000 vehicles were inspected at the brake check over an eight-hour period as they were heading westbound towards the Paulson Summit.
“These vehicles were turned around because they didn’t have tires that met the minimum safety standards outlined under the Motor Vehicle Act,” said Wolfram.
“That includes having mud and snow (M+S) tires with at least 3.5 millimetres of tread on them.”
One semi that was turned around wasn’t carrying winter tires or chains. The other vehicles that were turned around were a mix of SUVs, cars and trucks.
Of the eleven motorists, one was given a violation ticket while the other 10 were given warnings.
Motorists came up with a variety of excuses as to why they weren’t carrying proper tires.
“Since the valley bottoms haven’t had the same weather as the mountain passes, a lot of the motorists didn’t think they needed to get proper tires yet,” said Wolfram.
“While most of the motorists that we checked had their winter tires on, those that didn’t were either trying to make it another couple weeks without paying for the switchover or were just completely oblivious that there are safety requirements for having winter tires.”
West Kootenay Traffic Services, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement and Ministry of Transportation and Inspection personnel conducted the winter tire check. Authorities also completed the same tire check on Oct. 22 for motorists heading eastbound on Highway 3 from Christina Lake.
Motorists must have winter or M+S tires on their SUVs, cars or trucks between Oct. 1 and April 30. More information about winter tire regulations is available on Shift Into Winter’s website.