Quebec says winter-driving training won't become mandatory

The SAAQ is pouring cold water on suggestions that winter driving lessons be made mandatory.

After a person died this week in a pileup near Mont-Saint-Hilaire, some have called for better training on how to handle snowy road conditions for the millions of drivers on Quebec's roads.  
But spokesman Mario Vaillancourt from the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) told the Journal de Montreal that though courses offering winter-road training "exist", they "are not mandatory and it is not expected that they will become so."  He suggested that since current driving courses take place over the course of a full year, drivers get experience on icy roads anyway.

But some experts say that isn't always the way it works out, and that students sometimes take a break in their driving school to avoid learning during the winter, or condense their classes into seven or eight months instead of the usual twelve.

Currently, no country in the world requires all its licensed drivers to be trained specifically in winter-weather driving, though some require hours to be logged practicing driving in snowy conditions.