Characterizing Manitoba’s winter tire low-interest financing program as a success, Gord Mackintosh, minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), announced Monday the program will again be offered to vehicle owners.
MPI reports more than 30,000 Manitobans have taken advantage of the program, introduced last fall by the provincial government and administered by MPI.
“The safety benefits of winter tires are well-documented and this positive response confirms that many Manitoba vehicle owners have made road safety a priority,” Mackintosh says in the MPI statement.
Providing loans to a maximum of $2,000 per vehicle for up to 48 months at prime plus 2%, the program allows Manitobans who otherwise might not be financially able to do so to “equip their vehicles with winter tires,” the minister says.
A recent CAA Manitoba survey asking its membership about the importance of using winter tires found although respondents consistently agree the tires are an important road safety tool for a Manitoba winter, less than 50% own the tires, reports Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba.
The number one reason for not purchasing the tires? Mager cites cost.
“A vehicle equipped with winter tires helps the driver avoid collisions by reducing braking distances on ice and snow,” says Ward Keith, MPI’s vice president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer. “Loss prevention programs, ultimately, benefit all of our customers through reduced claims costs,” Keith maintains.
MPI notes that 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. As well, winter tires offer significantly better traction on snow-covered or icy road surfaces at well below -30°C than all-season tires have at 4°C, the statement adds.