There's nothing like a few nice Swedish studs to help a driver feel secure.
But David Orazietti cautions people not to rely too heavily on them.
"We want to tell people the best way to stay safe when driving in Northern Ontario in the winter is to drive to the conditions," the Sault MPP said at a news conference today at which he announced that lightweight Scandinavian studs can now be used here.
Orazietti made the announcement at GCR Tires on Great Northern Road, on behalf of Ontario Minister of Transportation Harinder Takhar.
But the province is pretty picky about their studs, says Orazietti.
"If someone comes in from out of province with a different kind of stud, they can have them on their tires for up to a maximum of 30 days," he said.
And not every Ontarian can take advantage of light Swedish studs, either.
"They're only for people whose home address is in a postal code area of northern Ontario. They can have them on their tires when they go down south though."
The predrilled tires can be purchased in many tire shops in the Sault and area and the studs can be inserted at the shop with a stud gun, as the studly Orazietti demonstrates in our photo.
Tires can also be purchased in some shops with studs already installed.
The full text of Orazietti's announcement appears below.
****************** Orazietti announces studded tires new legal
Provincial government approves use in northern Ontario
Sault Ste. Marie - The Ontario government has legalized the use of studded tires in Northern Ontario to improve road safety in icy conditions, David Orazietti, MPP announced today on behalf of Transportation Minister, Harinder Takhar.
"We are following through on our commitment to reintroduce the use of studded tires for Northern Ontario drivers," said Orazietti. "The information available clearly indicates that studded tires reduce the risk of a collision on icy roads and it's important to ensure that northern residents, who are more likely to face such conditions, have the option of using these tires."
There are approximately 250,000 motor vehicle collisions on Ontario roads per year, about 20,000 of them in Northern Ontario. Of these, about 14 per cent occur in icy conditions.
The Transportation Statute Law Amendment act (Bill 169) was passed in November 2005. As part of this Act, a regulation was proclaimed earlier this month allowing owners of vehicles registered in Northern Ontario to use lightweight Scandinavian studs in tires from October 1 to April 30.
Studded tires are now available and can be ordered by your local supplier in Northern Ontario.
Northern residents living north of and including the Parry Sound and Nipissing Districts can now use studded tires on their vehicles.
"Ontario has the safest roads in North America. I want to make sure we maintain that record," said Minister of Transportation Harinder Takhar. "Now that winter is here, we want drivers to slow down and give themselves plenty of room to stop and drive safely."
Before today, Ontario was the only province in Canada that prohibited the use of studded tires. The McGuinty government committed to reinstating their use in the 2003 election.
****************** Reader-submitted photos of local studs