Ban studded tires, says Mount Pearl mayor

The mayor of Mount Pearl says it's time to get rid of studded tires in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mayor Dave Aker told CBC Radio's On The Go that he blames studded tires for damage to the city's roads.

"Our snow crews are reporting that we're seeing a lot of chipping happening during the winter months," he said.

Aker said the city has looked at research from across North America on the effects of studded tires on roads, and city staff say debris seen during the winter is evidence of damage from studded tires.

"During the winter months, you see the debris, which looks a bit like small pebbles of sand that's building up on the roadway," Aker said.

"This doesn't happen in the summer, so that's why we suspect it might be the studded tires."

Aker said the presence of sand on Mount Pearl roads led council to believe studded tires are damaging the asphalt, as the town does not use sand when dealing with ice and snow.

Damaged roads can also lead to ruts developing much quicker in the winter, which can put drivers in danger, he said.

"That creates other safety hazards for us, in terms of the ruts which make it difficult to manoeuvre and keep control of your vehicle," Aker said.

"There is a safety aspect we have to consider. It's not just a financial impact."

Not so fast, says Lab City mayor

Paula Gale/CBC

Labrador City Mayor Fabian Benoit doesn't agree with the resolution. In Labrador, slush and a greater buildup of ice and snow can lead to tricky driving conditions.

"I think by removing studded tires you're probably adding some risk there for sure," Benoit said.

"I personally don't support the complete ban on [studded] tires. I think there's room for improvement on the dates and stuff they be installed and removed. But I can't support a ban on studded tires. It should be a personal choice."

Aker said he hopes the resolution at least starts a discussion among communities across Newfoundland and Labrador about the use of studded tires.

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