REPORTING · 22nd December 2009
M & S has nothing to do with winter tires!
According to Don Ramsey, District Manager of the Skeena District for the Ministry of Transportation, the tires on the vehicles checked meet appropriate standards well over 75% of the time. On those traveling Highway 37 last year they discovered, during a spot check of 250 vehicles, a 98% appropriate tire rate, which he called amazing. At a check of hundreds of vehicles on Highway 16 the usage of appropriate tires was determined to be 76% though a higher percentage were legal.
Ramsey explained the difference between appropriate and legal. "All Season Tires may well be legal because they have the appropriate amount of tread on them according to the Motor Vehicle Act, but we're the first to admit the Motor Vehicle Act does not require people to be equipped with the very best tires for performance in the kinds of winter conditions that we have."
At the Regional District Board Meeting on December 11, 2009, Ramsey stated the type of tires that would be appropriate would have the snowflake symbol contained within a mountain as shown in the accompanying pictures. He then added that the M & S letters on the sidewall of All Seasons would also be considered appropriate. Ramsey later corrected this statement clarifying that although the Motor Vehicle Act permits these it would be more appropriate to use proper winter tires.
According to both Cedarland Tire and Kalum Tire representatives, all of the tires manufactured and called 'All Season' have the M & S letters stamped of the sidewall.
Do Not Believe, as you head out on the highways this Holiday Season, you have great winter tires because they have good tread and the M & S symbol. They might not be designed for the cold winter road conditions.
They MUST have the snow flake in the mountain mark in raised rubber on the sidewall to be safe for driving with your family and friends, to visit family and friends.
The rubber in these snowflake/mountain tires is designed to remain soft and flexible, to grip on the ice and frozen road surfaces. The All Season tire rubber is a less flexible compound which will get harder and less flexible as the temperature gets lower.
M & S (Mud and Snow) is a generic and misleading marking. Please drive safe, enjoy the time with friends and family, and come home safe.