If there’s any small “L” liberals out there who have stumbled into reading this you may want to move on. Reading this – and taking it to the polling booth – would be good for all of us but I’m not holding my breath.
Yesterday our neighbour stopped for a visit. In the course of the visit he happened to mention that he had to get a set of winter tires installed. Of course that sent me off on my standard rant about how stupid the whole winter tire marketing scam really is. I’ll spare you the details except to say that we went through all this when we stopped using winter tires 30+ years ago. All season tires work just fine and – if you want to get all enviro-friendly – 4 all season tires have a much lower environmental footprint than 8 tires swapped out twice annually. Its nothing more nor less than a marketing scam on the part of tire manufacturers and governments are complicit in the scam.
Once I ran down on my first rant, Keith set me off again by telling me that winter tires were mandatory in BC. I of course assured him that we have been driving out there for years and it simply wasn’t true. After he left though I went online to check his claim and, sure enough, the idiot lawmakers in Victoria introduced a new law, effective October 2014 – winter tires are now mandatory for effectively every bloody inch of highway in BC. They claim the requirement is limited to highways that cross a mountain but when you look at the coverage map its the whole bloody province. So of course I had to first apologize to Keith and then I phoned my favourite tire shop in Preeceville.
Boycotting BC simply isn’t an option for us – at least not while Gray Hawk is moored on Vancouver Island. I phoned a buddy in BC and unloaded on him about his idiot lawmakers. He in turn assured me that nobody was paying a lot of attention to the law but I don’t believe that lack of attention will extend to out of province visitors. I can easily imagine a checkstop at the Golden scale that simply watches for SK and AB license plates and then checks tires. At $150 or $200 a pop for the tickets that could be a good revenue generator to help cure the provincial budget deficit. Worse, the sons of bitches could tell me to turn around and go back to Calgary to buy new tires.
And before any of you try to tell me about the so-called advantages of winter tires let me assure you that I believe there is some measurable advantage to winter tires. Just like the there’s a measurable advantage to 4WD, tire chains, studded tires, vehicle weights and any number of other DISCRETIONARY steps that I may take to make winter travel safer. Of course the single most important step that any of us can take to make winter travel safer is to simply stay home when the roads are not fit for travel. If a situation exists where the difference between winter and all season tires will be the difference between life and death then the drivers involved should have stayed home or the highway should have been closed. Legislation can never make us completely safe. As long as there’s idiots on the road my life is in greater danger from idiots than it is from whatever I choose to run for tires. Chain up laws are no different – if the pass is so bad that trucks need chains to get over the top THEN PARK THE BLOODY TRUCK AND WAIT IT OUT.
Our world is doomed as long as we have lawmakers who think they can legislate us into safety cocoons.