The truth about studded tires!
September 30 2016, Richard DesRochers
As you probably already know, sometimes winter tires are not enough to ensure complete safety on our roads. Black ice, freezing rain and blowing snow are all things that we encounter every winter. To help themselves out of difficult situations, many drivers equip their cars with studded tires. But are they really legal?
What does the law say?
In Quebec, we have the right to use studded tires car specifically between October 15 and May 1. Also, as you are probably aware, the installation of winter tires is mandatory from December 15 to March 15. One downside about studded tires: they’re banned on commercial vehicles exceeding 3,000 kg.
In Ontario, the use of studded tires is permitted from October 1 to April 30. Indeed, the use of studded tires is permitted for vehicles for those owners residing in northern Ontario, as defined by the territorial district of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Temiscaming, as well as for vehicles from outside the province that are in Ontario for less than a month.
So, yes, you have the right to drive to Ottawa with studded tires without receiving a fine under paragraph 9 (1) of Regulation 625 (Tire Standards and Specifications).
What’s the law for our southern neighbors?
In the U.S., each state has its own rules on this matter. However, in New Hampshire, Florida and Vermont, there is no law or regulation on this. Most other states permit it with fairly wide latitude. So the installation and use of studded tires is actually legal when it’s necessary to ensure safety because of snow, ice or other conditions that may cause a vehicle to slide or skid.
Driving safely on northern highways If you want to drive with peace of mind, especially those who commute between Montreal and Abitibi or the North Shore, you have every right to install them during the permitted period. More so, if you're like me, with many years of experience on our roads in winter.
I’m sure you’ve had stressful experiences and you really would have liked to drive more safely. So this year, don’t skimp on safety and opt for studded tires if you make frequent trips on snow-covered roads.