By: Brad Neal, Published on November 13, 2017 09:46 AM, Last Update on November 13, 2017 06:47 AM
Manitobans are flocking to the province’s low interest winter tire program, with 80,000 loans processed so far. The news was announced by the minister of crown services alongside Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI).
“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.”
Since debuting four years ago, the low interest winter tire program has been a success. It allows customers to take loans of up to 48 months at prime plus 2%, up to $2,000 per vehicle. Customers are able to apply through 646 winter tire retailers in Manitoba. These outlets then directly bill MPI when the eligibility is confirmed, and the loan approved.
Tires that fall under eligibility have a snowflake symbol that has been endorsed by Transport Canada to show the tires are up to standard for winter use. Among the tests are snow traction performance requirements and the ability to operate in severe snow.
Winter tires can make the difference between life and death during the cold season and insurance companies often reward customers who install them each year. With winter tires, stopping distances drop up to 30% compared to normal rubber.
“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.”