ERJ staff report (DS)
Ottawa, Quebec - A study by the Quebec Ministry of Transport shows that vehicle accident rates have fallen since the Canadian State introduced mandatory winter tyre laws in 2008.
According to the Ministry, up to 90 percent of Quebecois fitted winter tyres in the snow season, however, the 10 percent who did not use winter tyres were involved in 33 percent of accidents. Thus, even those who were responsible, and fitted winter tyres saw themselves as at-risk from the irresponsible drivers who did not use cold-weather tyres. As a result, the introduction of mandatory fitments and severe penalties for non-compliance were supported by most of the population.
In Montreal city, the fitment rate prior to the ruling was 84 percent (the lowest in the sample) this increased to 98 percent in the years after the new law. Simultaneously, the number of serious accidents fell by 46 percent.
The report's authors said this was not entirely due to winter tyre fitments, since accident rates had been falling prior to the introduction of the new laws, but even taking these other factors into account, the overall accident rate fell by five percent as a result of the new laws and increased Winter tyre fitments. The report's authors arttributed to two aspects of winter tyre performance: first the improived grip on ice due to read designs, but secondly the improved handling on dry roads which comes as a result of the tread compound, especially in temperatures above 45Â°F (7Â°C).
Quebec's law has more exclusions than some rules in the EU. For example, cars carrying US registration plates are exempt from the laws, while Canadians who want to drive south for the Winter can obtain a 7-day exemption certificate if they return home a few days before the compulsory period ends on 15 March each year.
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Full report from Quebec Ministry of Transport (French language only)