Winter tire deadline passes for Quebec drivers

As of Dec. 1, all drivers in Quebec must have winter tires on their vehicles.

The winter tire law lasts until March 15. Anyone caught without winter tires on their vehicle could face fines from police of between $200 and $300.

Despite the deadline for winter tires passing, tire shops in Quebec were busy Wednesday.

"We do have quite a bit of people that come in last minute and after the deadline," says Riley MacGregor, Manager of Bristol Auto Performance in Shawville and Bristol. "We always try to get our regular customers in and promote to get them on as soon as possible, because we could start getting bad weather as soon as October and as soon as the temperature starts to drop below seven degrees."

There is no winter tire law in Ontario, but MacGregor hopes one will come in soon. The auto shop manager also runs a towing business and says despite the lack of snow on the ground, he's already been called to some avoidable crashes.

"There was a car spun out in the ditch and I got a chance to take a look at what was on there," MacGregor tells CTV News. "There wasn't even much left of the summer tires that were on it."

Despite MacGregor's shop being booked solid with winter tire appointments Wednesday, most drivers in and around Shawville seemed to be prepared.

"It's been in effect for a while, I think it used to be the 15th," says driver Nick Renaud, who got his snow tires on a week ago. "Now we just put them on ahead of time to save the fine."

Renaud says he has no problem with the fines associated with the winter tire law, which has become a regular part of winter for Quebecers.

"Not at all, I guess we're used to it now. It's been in effect for a while, they just moved the date ahead now. I mean it's hard nowadays because who knows if we're going to have snow or a mild winter."

Driver Billy Telford also got his winters on well in advance.

"Couple weeks ago, got the tires studded," says Telford from the seat of his pickup truck. "A little afraid I'm wearing on the studs; we need snow."

That's another aspect MacGregor appreciates about Quebec's winter tire law.

"I highly like to promote the studded tires if you can," says the mechanic, adding the studs bite into the ice and snow, allowing for greater peace of mind. "Unfortunately, Ontario doesn't run studded tires, but if you are Quebec plated you can run studded tires."