Canadian Underwriter

Manitoba vehicle owners continue to take advantage of winter tire program

November 10, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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Nearly 80,000 loans have been processed for Manitobans taking advantage of the province’s low interest winter tire program, the province’s minister of crown services and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has announced.

“Response by vehicle owners continues to be very positive and well-received,” said Cliff Cullen, the provincial Minister of Crown Services, in a press release from MPI. “This low-interest winter tire program assists Manitobans to equip their vehicles with winter tires with the ultimate goal being fewer winter collisions and safer roads. With colder temperatures and winter conditions now here, Manitoba vehicle owners are strongly encouraged to winter-harden their vehicles before the arrival of harsher weather.”

Now entering its fourth year, the program provides loans of up to 48 months at prime plus 2%, up to $2,000 per vehicle. Participation is as easy as going to any one of 646 participating winter tire retailers in the province who can direct bill MPI once customer eligibility for the program is confirmed and loan authorizations approved.

Eligible tires will display a snowflake symbol, as endorsed by Transport Canada, the release said. This symbol indicates that the tires have met specific snow traction performance requirements and are designed to be used in severe snow conditions.

At temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement, winter tires have been shown to reduce stopping distances by as much as 30% compared with all-season tires, MPI reported. As well, winter tires offer significantly better traction on snow-covered or icy road surfaces at temperatures well below -30 C than all-season tires have at 4 C.

“Numerous road safety studies confirm that winter tires reduce braking distances by lessening sliding on ice and snow,” added Ward Keith, vice president, business development & communications and chief administrative officer with MPI.

“Road safety needs to be a priority of everyone who travels on our roadways,” he said. “Reducing fatalities and injuries is a goal which can be achieved when everyone makes the commitment to safety. Preparing for winter with the use of winter tires is one way to keep our roads safe by improving traction and reducing stopping distances.”

According to MPI, the average length of a winter tire loan is currently about three years and the average loan amount is about $1,200.