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Next Monday is October 1, the start of BC’s annual regulatory period for carrying and using tire chains on heavy trucks, which extends this year to the end of April for high mountain passes on some highways. BCTA opposed one of the changes the government proposed for new chain-up regulation and is awaiting the final version of requirements.

In BC, commercial trucks over 27,000 kg GVW must carry chains from October 1st to April 30th where required.

The government chose to extend the chain-up period and made other proposals in an effort to reduce the number of highway closures from commercial vehicles unprepared for winter conditions (33 of 35 Coquihalla closures last winter were because of commercial vehicles).

Proposed changes include:

  • Specific requirements for the number of tires to chain up on each commercial vehicle. Currently there is only a requirement to carry chains and guidance for chaining up.
  • A new, specified industry standard for quality of chain. (BCTA opposed this requirement, since it was lack of chains not chain quality that caused last winter’s challenges.)
  • Escalating fines for not carrying chains, bypassing an active chain-up, and causing a highway closure after bypassing an active chain-up. The current fine is $121 for not carrying chains, with no further escalating fines.

This year, professional truck drivers on the Coquihalla have expanded space at Box Canyon to chain up (room for 70 commercial vehicles) and a new chain off area at the Coquihalla summit.

The following resources are those currently available and may assist in preparing for compliance (note that these are also due to be updated):

Visit DriveBC for road conditions.

What can we expect this year, weather wise? The Weather Network is on it.


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