Shift into Winter

An initiative to keep you safe and moving during the winter season, and the work we do to make sure you are.

The Many Faces of Mount Washington

Information for Skiers and Snowboarders driving Strathcona parkway

When you hear the words Vancouver Island you probably think of February flower counts, storm watching in Tofino and salmon fishing in Campbell River. But, did you know that Vancouver Island is also home to some pretty amazing ski hills? That’s right; as if this little jewel of an island wasn’t precious enough, Vancouver Island ski hills (like Mt. Washington Alpine Ski Resort), routinely boast some of the highest annual snow base in North America. That’s great news if...

Read more »

Your Top 5 Resources to get Ready for Driving this Winter

shift into winter

It’s not even “officially” winter yet but we’re certainly already getting hit by it. With the Shift into Winter safety campaign in full swing, we’ve noticed a lot more activity on some of our websites lately as people get ready for the ice, snow and earlier night times. We’ve collected your top 5 winter resources, based on visit popularity, to provide you a bit of a one stop shop. Passenger Vehicle – Tire and Chain Requirements What’s the legal...

Read more »

15 Seconds to Safety: How to Dress for Winter’s Worst

Sure, we know what you’re thinking… “Of course I know how to dress myself!” But you won’t believe how often ministry staff come across drivers severely underdressed (some even wearing flip flops!), stranded on the side of the road with a broken down vehicle or struggling to chain up during a snow storm. Don’t let the sanctuary of your vehicle fool you. Yes, vehicles are toasty and warm when they’re running – some even have heated seats and steering...

Read more »

15 Seconds to Safety: How to Identify a Winter Tire

We get questions about winter tires all the time. Well, not all the time – mostly in October when winter tire regulations go into effect on most BC highways until the end of March. Drivers want to know which tires are legally considered winter tires, and which tires provide maximum performance in cold, snow and ice. They also want to know how their vehicle is already equipped, so they can better decide if they need new tires. So, we...

Read more »

How to Avoid Being Pranked by Spring on the Coquihalla

winter driving conditions

Warning! Don’t let spring play an April Fools’ prank on you. Roadside signs state passenger vehicles are required to have winter tires, and commercial trucks must carry chains, on most BC highways between October 1 and March 31 (or to April 30, depending on the highway). However, that doesn’t mean winter tires and chains are never needed beyond those dates. Sometimes spring lets Old Man Winter outstay his welcome, especially on high elevation routes such as the Coquihalla. Professional...

Read more »

The Shocking Case of the Porthole Peeper

“I was in a hurry.” That was the excuse a Vancouver Island driver gave when one of our CVSE officers stopped him on the Malahat for driving with a mere “porthole” of snow cleared from his windshield. The officer issued the driver a $368 fine and didn’t let him continue driving without clearing all the snow off his vehicle. When we tweeted the photo, many of you were shocked: What’s worse, this isn’t just a one-off occurrence. Surrey RCMP...

Read more »

Watch How We Get Through Winter on the Coquihalla

 Having trouble viewing this video in your browser? Try watching it directly on our YouTube channel. The Coquihalla (BC Highway 5 from Hope to Merritt) is the province’s busiest mountain pass. At more than 1,200 metres in elevation, it’s also one of the routes hit hardest by heavy snowfall and other winter conditions. Fear not… we have a plan, and a team of professionals to execute what we call: The Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol. When the snow flies, the...

Read more »

What You Need to Know About Winter Weather on the “Coq”

We’ve heard from a few folks recently asking how they can travel the Coquihalla safely during the winter.  Apart from our usual recommendations for proper tires, checking DriveBC, keeping a full tank of gas and driving to conditions, we thought we could help travellers make better decisions around their travel by identifying some of the winter conditions found on the Coquihalla and explaining how they might impact travel. So, we asked our Weather Services Specialist, Simon Walker (who worked...

Read more »