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Old December 26th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #1
keber
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Winter tyres and equipment obligation and enforcement

How does your country oblige and enforce the use of winter tires and other equipment in winter conditions?
(I think it is clear, that this thread is not applicable to countries, that never see the snow)

Here in Slovenia, where snow is a normal thing during the winter all drivers must use winter tires from 15th November to 15th March except in coastal areas. Instead of winter tires drivers can also use normal tires, but must have snow chains to be ready and use them in case of snow.
I must say that police does not do their work and with last snowing most problems were caused by drivers (many foreign) with inappropriate equipment. Many drivers even blame road cleaning services and not their own lack of correct equipment and driving skills.

Last edited by keber; December 26th, 2009 at 02:46 PM. Reason: tire, not tyre - doh!
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Old December 26th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #2
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Here - nothing at all. You don't need to have neither winter tires (and many idiots don't) nor any equipment.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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In the Netherlands it's recommended but not required. About 10% of the Dutch cars have winter tires.

Well, I don't. They're only really useful in those few days per year there is snow on the road. I can postpone longer trips usually, so I don't think those few times per year justifies the cost for me.

The Netherlands is extremely flat, so you barely have uphill circumstances here. We had 8 days of snow cover here last week, and I drove my car every day and didn't spin my wheels once. Just drive easy, accelerate slow and easy, and don't take turns too violent, and you're okay.

But if I was living in say, Germany, which sees snow much more often and has hilly areas, I would buy winter tires.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #4
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When my parents bought the "car", they were offered winter tires for a good price, so we have them. They're also useful since we sometimes go to Germany in winter.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #5
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In Sweden, it's mandatory to use winter tyres for vehicles with a maximum weight of less than 3500 kgs between the 1st of December and the 31st of March when there is snow or ice on the road. These winter tyres must be marked as such and have a minimum depth of 3 mm. Studded tyres are only allowed between the 1st of October and the 15th of April, and at other dates if there is snow or ice on the road.

Failure to comply with the regulations carries a fine of 1200 SEK per tyre.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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It's very similar in Estonia. Winter tyres are compulsory from 1st December until 1st March for vehicles that have up to 9 seats, for trucks up tp 3,5 tonnes and for trailers that weigh 750-3500kgs. You can use studded tyres from 1st October until 1st May. That last period should be shortened by one month, IMO.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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in Croatia we don't have fixed dates, but in winter conditions one mustn't drive without winter equipment (which is 4 M+S tyres or 4 S tyres with at least 4 mm deep patterns with prepared winter chains for case of snow). many people are using winter tyres, some 10 years ago they didn't but now yes. usually we use them somewhere between 15th November and 1st March.

personally, i think that winter tyres are useful only when there is snow on the road and when it's freezing (but difference is visible at really cold temperatures, under -5C)
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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From what I've learnt, ordinary summer tires have a composition which contains a lot of plastic, and that plastic becomes harder at about +5C which makes them lose some of their grip on wet surfaces.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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In Serbia (since new law introduction, 15 days ago) you need to have M+S or S tyres from 15th November till 15th April, but only on driving wheels or regular tyres with minimum depth of 4 mm.

You still need to have tyre chains on mountains.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsue View Post
From what I've learnt, ordinary summer tires have a composition which contains a lot of plastic, and that plastic becomes harder at about +5C which makes them lose some of their grip on wet surfaces.
True
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsue View Post
From what I've learnt, ordinary summer tires have a composition which contains a lot of plastic, and that plastic becomes harder at about +5C which makes them lose some of their grip on wet surfaces.
That is true. They advertise that at temperatures below +7, the winter tires is superior to the summer tire. This, however, doesn't mean a summer tire is completely useless below +7 C. The real advantage of a winter tire are situations with snow-covered roads, especially on a slope. In such situations, winter tires are far superior to summer tires. I doubt if winter tires are very effective on icy roads though. My boss has winter tires but couldn't park his car slightly uphill on ice, he kept slipping away. You need chains or spikes in such conditions.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsue View Post
From what I've learnt, ordinary summer tires have a composition which contains a lot of plastic, and that plastic becomes harder at about +5C which makes them lose some of their grip on wet surfaces.
Not true, those are tire company advertisements. Tests from independent journalist have proven, that normal tire (of course not some cheap-shit) is better and behaves better in dry conditions even with sub-zero temperatures (to about -5, even -10 with some models). I also can confirm their results from my experiences, especially in wet conditions. But in real winter snow tires are much better.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keber View Post
Not true, those are tire company advertisements. Tests from independent journalist have proven, that normal tire (of course not some cheap-shit) is better and behaves better in dry conditions even with sub-zero temperatures (to about -5, even -10 with some models). I also can confirm their results from my experiences, especially in wet conditions. But in real winter snow tires are much better.
that's my opinion, too. winter tyres become visibly better than summer on really low temperatures in deep minus. those +7C is only marketing trick
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Old December 26th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #14
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In Italy is the owner of the road fixing the date by setting this road sign (below). so it'mandatory to use winter/studded tyrers or chains ( there often lay-by to set them up, e.g. roads to dolomiti supersky area)

by Weissenfels traction S.p.A.

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Old December 26th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #15
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In Denmark, winter tyres aren't mandatory but they are recommended. Many people didn't get winter tyres this year because they didn't expect any snow at all.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #16
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Iceland only has the vague guideline that you use the appropriate tyres for the given conditions. In other words: use common sense. Most people switch to studded tyres over winter but if you live in the Reykjavk area and only use your car there, you will do fine with a set of all season tyres.

There is however a rule that forbids the use of studded tyres and snow chains between 15 April and 31 October unless unseasonal winter conditions demand it.

EDIT: I should also mention that snow chains for cars are practically unknown in Iceland, probably because everybody who drives in winter conditions uses studded tyres already. Snow chains are used by lorries though, but only in especially difficult slopes.

Last edited by Bjarki; December 27th, 2009 at 04:46 AM.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #17
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Studded tyres are illegal all year round in Denmark
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Old December 26th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3naranze View Post
Unless our government (Estonia) has changed Traffic Rules (Liikluseeskiri) again,then it's not mandatory to have snow chains in your car here. Only winter tires are mandatory. Studded tyres are optional use (allowed in winter)
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Last edited by Tin_Can; December 26th, 2009 at 06:05 PM. Reason: noticed my stupid mistake
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Old December 26th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #19
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Are studded tyres mandatory?? Does the government hate roads???
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Old December 26th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #20
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I think that winter tyres shouldn't be mandatory by law and responsibility should be up to drivers. In case they cause problems without proper equipment, there should be fines and in case of accidents it's up to insurance companies to punish such drivers.
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