Winter Tire Incentive in Ontario?

Update: see previous post – December 15, 2008 Will New Quebec Winter Tire Law Soon be Rolling into Ontario?

See the source at the Toronto Star:

Even if snow tires aren’t mandatory, Queen’s Park should reward drivers for using them on their vehicles, says a coalition of safety, health care and industry groups.

The Winter Driving Safety Coalition wants the province to introduce a rebate “that is significant enough that drivers who have not equipped their vehicle with winter tires will consider doing so,” said Faye Lyons of the Canadian Automobile Association.

She declined to say how big a financial incentive snow tire users should get, only that the coalition was working with the government. Insurance premium rebates could be another potential incentive.

Although Quebec made snow tires mandatory in 2008, the coalition isn’t asking Ontario to do the same and the province isn’t planning to do so.

“We have been working closely with our safety partners to promote safer winter driving and the use of winter tires. We have no plans to implement the mandatory use of winter tires at this time,” said a statement emailed by a Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne’s office.

Less than half of Ontario drivers use winter tires, even though they can reduce stopping distances by up to 25 per cent, or two vehicle lengths.

“They’re just better,” said Brian Patterson of the Ontario Safety League. “The more we can get people to use them, the less we’ll have people in collisions jamming up emergency rooms.”

Winter tires are a benefit even when there’s no snow on the ground, he said. Because they are made of different rubber they remain flexible in colder weather. A set of four usually costs between $750 and $1,000, and you’ll probably get four or five seasons out of them, said Patterson.

The coalition is composed of the CAA, the Ontario Safety League, the Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Trucking Association, Canadian Tire and the Rubber Association of Canada.

Update:
December 15, 2010 – McGuinty rejects winter tire tax credit.

Premier Dalton McGuinty is flatly rejecting the idea of a tax credit for drivers who install winter tires on their cars.

The Canadian Automobile Association and the Ontario Safety League are behind a coalition asking for a $25-per-tire tax credit to encourage people to buy winter tires.

Update: January 7, 2010 – Are these old winter tires still okay?

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One thoughtful comment

  1. Winter tires really do change the way a car drives in the cold. Other drivers without them wobble and skid around the road, causing near-accidents and making me dodge them. I wish there was a way to encourage Canadian drivers to switch to tires that stay flexible in the cold. I don’t think that mandatory winter tires is the answer. Tax credits may be difficult to budget. If it truly would save the government money in health care, and it would certainly save insurance companies money, I’d suggest that a government and insurance company coalition start a public education campaign. By maintaining records before and after the campaign, improvements can be recorded to justify tax credits or other measures.

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