As the temperature dips and the leaves fall people’s minds start to turn to thoughts of winter and getting their winter tires out of storage. Study after study has shown winter tires work, but should they be mandatory?

The question gets raised every winter about whether a law should be passed forcing drivers to install winter or at least the newer All-weather tires that have come on the market. The stats show they reduce crashes. Quebec instituted a mandatory winter tire law in 2008 and saw collisions drop by 17% — and that was despite 9 out of every 10 drivers already using them before the law was enacted.

Critics claim the cost of forcing drivers to buy them doesn’t justify the need. An Alberta law would force southern Alberta residents to fit their vehicles with winter tires when the amount of snowfall that stays on the ground is very little. Others say our weather is different from eastern provinces. We don’t have the sleet and ice storms that hits major centres along the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean.

There doesn’t seem to be much political will to bring in such a law. Polls are usually split on the issue, but one thing everyone seems to agree on is that they do work so it would be wise to get those speciality tires.

Winter tires are not the be-all end-all though. Crashes occur when drivers don’t pay attention and are careless. Drive to the conditions of the road regardless of the type of rubber on the road and that means SLOW DOWN!!!