There is something new for motorists. In many departments a new rule must be respected otherwise beware of a fine: 135 euros!
If you use your car soon, pay attention to these new regulations concerning vehicle equipment during winter. From now on, in France, it is compulsory to equip your vehicle with winter tires, all-season tires or, failing that, to have removable equipment such as chains or snow socks. This obligation does not, however, apply uniformly throughout the territory, but only in certain departments and, within these, in certain specific municipalities.
Currently, 48 French departments are affected by this new regulation. It is important to note that this obligation applies even if you pass through these departments without residing there. The list specifies of the municipalities concerned is defined by the prefectures of each department. For example, in Haute-Savoie, the entire territory is concerned, while in Doubs, 356 municipalities out of 571 are subject to this rule, and in Jura, 272 out of 494.
This measure, nicknamed the “Mountain law”, applies each year from November 1 to March 31. All four-wheeled vehicles, including light vehicles, utility vehicles, motorhomes, coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles, are affected. In the event of non-compliance with this law, a fine of 135 euros is provided. Although the majority of motorists recognize the relevance of this measure for road safety, some criticize the choice of fixed dates. They would prefer flexible application of the law, depending on actual weather conditions, like what is done in Germany. There, the obligation to use winter tires is situational, that is to say it depends on the actual presence of black ice, packed snow, slush, ice or frost on the road. roads.
It is also important to note that this new rule could have an impact on your insurance coverage in France. In the event of an accident occurring in poor road conditions and without the appropriate equipment, your insurance could reduce its benefits or refuse to cover the damage.
For those who are wondering, the situation in Switzerland differs from that in France. There is no formal obligation regarding winter tires, but rather an individual responsibility. Drivers must ensure they are in control of their vehicle at all times. In the event of an accident linked to inadequate equipment, Swiss insurance companies may reduce benefits or ask the driver to pay part of the costs. In Austria, the obligation to use snow tires is in force from November 1 to April 15, but only when there is snow, slush or ice on the roads. In Italy, the situation is even more complex, with regulations that vary depending on the province.