Winter tires required starting today on most highways around the region

While they may have been needed over the weekend if you were travelling over local mountain passes, today is the official day winter tires have to be on.

Passenger vehicles driving on designated highways in BC, which includes most of the highways around the region, have to have for matched winter tires, which show the three peaked mountain and snowflake or mud and snow tires, with at least 3.5 mm's of tread depth.

Truck drivers face an additional requirement.

 B-C Trucking Association president Dave Earl says just one or two truckers ignoring chain-up orders can bring traffic to a standstill on some routes -- and commercial drivers will face much stiffer fines if they are not using chains in areas where chains are mandatory.

The new fines include a 196-dollar ticket for truckers not carrying chains as required, and 598-dollar fine for not installing chains during mandatory chain-ups.

Vehicle drivers without the right tires can be fined 109-dollars and turned back by police.