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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 2, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, December 2, 1970 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD 31 The rules nearly as often as the time zones The studded-tire issue-regulations vary in Canadian provinces By AHNIK IIAKAI.A Canadian Press Staff Writer You'll need a let of patience and some extra money it you have studded tires on your car and want to drive across Canada this winter. II there ever was a case of Canadian provinces co-operat- ing on a piece ol legislation, that involving studded tires certainly isn't it. A Cross-Canada Survey by The Canadian Press shows that province-to-province reg- ulations change as often as time zones and in most cases are just as confusing. By far the most puzzling as- pect of the studded tires, banned by Ontario after April 30, 1971, is that few provinces agree as to how much dam- age they cause to the roads. Peter Smith, head of the re- search and transportation sys- tems banch of Ins Ontario de- partment of highways, told a. Canadian Good Roads Asso- ciation meeting in Montreal that 90 per cent of the wear on highways during the winter could be attributed to the studs. But does this outweigh the safety factor? Again, there is little agreement. U.S. PROBLEM TOO Mr. Snath conceded at the Montreal meeting -that stud- ded tires greatly reduce stop- ping distances on glare ice. But he added that research indicated that icy and freez- ing-rain conditions occur only in about one day out of 10D during Ontario winters. This problem also is under study in northern stales where winter driving is hazardous. Minnesota has a major study under way and preliminary findings indicate the stale highway departmenl will not recommend continued use of studs when current legislation authorizing their use expires next May. The highways de- partment claims that damage to roads outweighs the safety factor, and that there is disa- greement on how much the studs contribute to safety. New York state is also look- ing at the problem because of "noticeable high wear" on some roads there. When one examines the var- ious regulations in Canada it is obvious that the motorist, if he swears by the safety as- pects of the studs, will have to spend a lot of time either pull- ing them out or putting them back in when he comes lo bor- der points. There are no restrictions in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick. DEADLINES VARY However, in British Colum- bia you can only use them from Oct. 1 to April 30; in Manitoba, from Nov. 1 lo April 30; in Ontario from Oct. 1 until the 1971 deadline; in Nova Scolia from Oct. 15 to April 15 and in Prince Ed- ward Island and Newfound- land from Dec. 1 to April 30. In announcing Ihe Ontario ban, Highways Minister George Gomme and Trans- port Minister Irwin Haskett said 32 per cent of the vehi- cles in Ontario now used stud- ded tires in whiter and by 1971-72 at least 60 per cent were expected to be stud- equipped. Provincial officials p r e- dicted the studs would cause million in road damages during the next 10 years. Mr. Gomme said these tires obli- terate lane markings and cre- ate nils in safety hazards. Ontario has been the only province to do extensive re- search on studs, and in a re- port released last whiter, the department of highways said its test showed that studded tires on bare pavement re- duce the life span of highways by 50 to 75 per cent. The report said the normal life of an average stretch of highway used by vehi- cles a day is from 12 to W years. This could be cut to three years in some cases be- cause of the studs, it con- tended. NORTH NOT TESTED Hoads north of Sudbury and North Bay were not tested be- cause of lower traffic volume, HOW TO SHOP FOR BARGAINS Can you spol. code words in re- tail advertising (.hat speli out genuine bargains? Do you know the retailer's sales secrets that could save you hundreds of dol- lars starling right now? Answers to Ihcse important Khopping guides nre featured in the December issue of Header's JJigest. Learn how yon can save, money, on food, clothing and other items. This timely article also gives you a Shopping Cal- endar showing when stores wilt jiold sales on everything from ilriigs !o appliances. Start sav- ing money now get your De- cember .Headers Digest today. snow-covered pavement and use of hard igneous rock as a local paving material. The most intense wear, the report said, occurs where ve- hicles stop, start and turn. In Ontario, once Ihc ban is imposed, Ihe minimum fine for having studs will be the maximum The federal department of transport has stayed out of the picture, saying studs come under provincial jurisdiction. The Canada Safety Council in Ottawa ran lesls in Febru- ary and April Ihis year and said driving conditions which required use of studded tires constituted about one per cent of all driving time ui'Soulhern Ontario. In Northern Ontario, where driving conditions were worse, ice-covered roads were more common, and a wider need for studs arose. The study showed that on a clear highway, studded tires provided no great advantage. In a comparison wilh regu- lar highway tires and regular snow tires, it was found that on a clear concrete highway a longer time was required to stop a car with studded tires. Philip Farmer, the council's executive director, said the Ontario government had prob- ably made the right decision. Most automobile organiza- tions across Canada say On- tario should have waited for more research. NOT HIT BY BAN Tire manufacturers say Ihe Ontario ban will not affect them, and the only indication of'protest came from Kenna- metal Tools Ltd. of Hamilton, which said it manufactures about 60 per cent of the slud3 sold in Canada. Al LeBlan, a company spokesman, said other factors contribute to the deterioration of highways besides studs. He mentioned the increased num- ber of cars and salt erosion. He said braking distances on glare ice at 20 miles an hour at 25 degrees were 149 feet with regular tires, 151 feet with conventional snow tires, 120 feet wilh studs on real- tires, and 85 feet with four studded tires. Because of the change in regulations from province to province and the fact that On- tario will not allow out-of- province cars to use the studs afler the ban, drivers mil need a good pair of pliers if they want to extract Ihe sluds. A buyer for Canadian Tire Corp. said the studs are se- cured by a nail-like head in- side the rubber, but can be twisted out with a pair of di- agonal cutting pliers. "I can't say how long it would take because I can't re- call anybody ever wanting to do it, unless one stud had been put in he said. "It's a fair amount of work." There are about 90 studs in the average tire. Dealers install the sluds with a three-pronged device that stretches each hole and drops the stud into it. LEADS IN RESEARCH Ontario appears to be the leader when it comes to re- search on the effects of Ihe studs. For instance, in Newfound- land there have been no con- trolled tests and none is planned at the moment. Ahighways department spokesman said more than 75 per cent of vehicles in New- foundland used studded tires in winter and that a wearing of pavement had been noticed. Research consists mostly of an exchange of correspond- ence with other provinces, the northern American states and northern European countries, some of which have permitted the studs for more than 10 years. James Pike, president ot the Newfoundland Safety Council, said: "As a safely faclor Ihe council feels that these tires give an added traction, but the council is not in a position to evaluate the increased cost that may result in damage to roadway surfaces." Prince Edward Island is awaiting a study of tie studs and hi Nova Scotia, the high- ways department said any damage lo roads by studs is more than offset by the reduc- tion in the number of acci- dents. No tesls have been taken in Nova Scotia but, once again, highway markings appear to be disappearing more quickly. A highways spokesman said the washing out of lane mark- ings is the only result of stud- ded tires so far and that the department is testing 2G kinds of paint to determine the most durable product. In New Brunswick, a high- ways spokesman said studs cause some damage "but to what extent we don't know." However, he said the province intends to evaluate their use "a hit closer." A spokesman (or Ihe Mari- time Automobile Association office in Saint John, N.B., said he considered the Ontario ban "a move away from uni- formity in highway regula- tions" and thought it could cause serious problems lo vis- itors there. George Tremblay, Quebec's transport minister, was one of the most outspoken supporters of the studs: "It is more important lo save a human life than to make some savings on as- phalt. "I don't care about the cost of asphalt; what mailers are road victims." He said Ihe Ontario decision did not change ins opinion on studded lircs. The Quebec roads depart- ment has studied the sluds for the last llirce years and has noted thai (here is damage lo Ihe roads. About 50 per cent ot the cars have studs in win- ter. Jacques Charland, director of research for the depart- ment, said any decision on regulating sluds would have to ho based on sludics made in Quebec. "We cannot rely on studies made elsewhere because con- ditions are not the same from one province to another o. from one country to another." The Club Au tomobile do Quebec slated: "Maybe studded tires could be restricted, but we must not sacrifice a single life for con- crete. The safety factor of studded tires is c e r t a i n 1 y more important than any damage they cause lo roads." And Hariland Gee, presi- dent of the Quebec region of lire Canadian Automobile Sports Club, said: "The ruling is premature. Somebody has jumped to a conclusion before thoroughly considering die facts. I don't believe Ihe legislalion was en- acted by people who were fully aware of the facts." On tlie oilier hand, John general manager of the Royal Automobile Club, the lO.OOb-mcmbcr Montreal branch of the said he feels the damage done by the sluds to the roads in six monllis is much greater than any safely benefit. "For two or three days in the year they are very he said. "Other times they aren't as good as winter tires." In M a n i I u b a, Transport Minister Joe Borowski said: e 'r c more convinced than ever that studded tires prevent accidents and save lives. There's no queslion they do some damage but we must ask: Arc we prepared to pay anything for He said studs are a real asset in rural and northern Manitoba and Ihe province lias no'immediate intention to ban them. Harry Burns, Metropolitan Winnipeg's traffic director, said his department is consi- dering recommending a ban. "Preliminary reports cer- tainly cause us concern. When a province which has the highest motor vehicle regis- tration (Ontario) bans Item I can't sec other areas not fol- lowing suit." No detailed studies have been undertaken in Saskatche- wan hut K. W. Cullcy. re- search engineer for the high- ways department, said: "We are starling lo get slightly concerned. We cer- tainly notice increased wear in the driving lanes in four- lane highways." L. II. McManus, deputy minister of highways in Al- berta, had much the same to say. Although his department has no immediate plans to in- troduce legislation nn "10 tire s, consideration would have lo be given if there was "any definite deterioration in surfaces, but these are not ap- parent so far." .Xi rf til 1 out of ever i i. i frs -f J i -V v V t- good enough to be "Certified Perfect" and sold at Peoples Credit Jewellers. That's right, approximately 1 out of every 40 diamonds is-good enough to be classified "Certified Perfect" at Peoples Credit Jewellers. 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