Commercial truckers will now face higher fines for not carrying chains when required, and for not installing them during mandatory chain ups on B.C. highways, the province announced.
Fines go up from $121 to $196 for not carrying chains or installing them when and where required. Drivers will be fined $598 for not installing chains during mandatory chain ups.
These fines will go into effect Oct. 1, 2019, when winter tire and chain-up regulations begin on most B.C. highways.
Until now, province has required vehicles over 27,000 kilograms to carry and use traction devices, with only one wheel needing chains during winter conditions and mandatory chain ups. The new enhancements clarify requirements for all commercial vehicles over 5,000 kilograms:
Vehicles with licensed gross vehicle weights less than 11,794 kilograms, like buses or five-ton trucks, must use chains on a minimum of two tires and can use steel chains, cable chains, automatic chains, socks or wheel sanders if not equipped with winter tires.
Vehicles with licensed gross vehicle weights of 11,794 kilograms or more must use steel chains. The number of tires needing chains ranges from a minimum of two tires for vehicles without a trailer, to six tires on some larger and more-demanding configurations.
During last winter, there were 10 extended closures on the Coquihalla, nine of which involved commercial vehicles. In winter 2017-18, there were 35 extended Coquihalla closures, 33 of which involved commercial vehicles.
The province says 70 of drivers surveyed supported enhancements to traction device requirements and 88 per cent agreed that new and increased fines were needed to improve compliance.