The Highway Code introduces the obligation to mount winter tires on both cars and heavy vehicles, in accordance with the provisions of art. 6 regarding the law n.120 of 29 July 2010. It is then the bodies that manage the individual sections to issue specific ordinances and then decide whether to impose this obligation, signaling it on the road with the appropriate signs indicating the mandatory snow chains; this imposition starts from the point where the signal is placed.
The general rule says that snow tires, or alternatively the chains on board, should be kept from November 15th until April 15th.
The legislation states that in this period it is necessary to be equipped with non-slip means or winter tires that are suitable for riding on ice or snow. There is a directive from the Ministry of Transport that provides for an exemption that allows the installation of the aforementioned devices from one month before the entry into force, from October 15th, and to uninstall them within a month after the end of the obligation, then the May 15th The law applies to 4-wheel vehicles, therefore cars, trucks and heavy vehicles. The Highway Code prescribes the rule at the national level, even if the various bodies that manage the roads and highways can foresee differences.
What are the fines in case of infringement:
Failure to comply with the obligation to circulate with thermal tires or with chains on board from November 15, on the roads where it is provided, entails the risk of having to pay an administrative fine. The fine amounts can vary from a minimum of 41 euros in built-up areas to up to 168 euros, as provided for by art. 7 and by art. 14 of the Highway Code, and from a minimum of 84 euros, up to the figure of 335 euros, as regards the areas outside the built-up areas, therefore the motorways, the main or similar extraurban roads.
The driver of the car surprised without winter tires or without snow chains on board is obliged to stop, as required by the art. 192, or it can only continue its journey when it has equipped the vehicle with non-slip devices, intended for driving on frozen or snow-covered roads in the winter season. When the order is not respected, in addition to the fine of 84 euros, the deduction of 3 points from the license is also provided. The agent can then impose the vehicle’s detention until it is put in order. And, in the city, one could even be accused of dangerous driving, with another 39 euros of sanction and the deduction of 5 points from the license
All season thermal tires:
As for the all-season tires, also called all weather, they are those that sit between the summer and the winter, have an intermediate-height tread and offer good grip on both dry and wet asphalt. They can also be used in winter only if they have the initials M + S on the side.
In all European states, and therefore also in Italy, tires with the M + S label, which means Mud + Snow, meaning mud and snow, can be used in the winter season.
When chains are required on board:
Snow chains are considered the alternative solution and not complementary to winter tires. These are non-slip devices that allow greater grip on snow-covered roads, which must in any case necessarily comply with the reference standards. The snow chains must, moreover, be compatible with the tires on which they must be installed, which must not be winter tires.
Where there is a requirement for winter tires or chains:
For all motorists who frequently travel by car even during the winter season and therefore often travel outside their city of habitual residence, it is good to know the various ordinances on the use of winter tires. Any entity that owns or manages the streets can issue a decree; among these, therefore, are the Provinces, Municipalities and all motorway concessionaire companies. Since the prescribed territorial laws can be very many, on the pneumaticisottocontrollo.it site there are all the copies of the original ordinances, digitized and inserted on the portal to be consulted by users, divided by geographical areas and motorway sections. For the latter, Autostrade per l’Italia shows a complete list of all sections of the network affected by the requirement of winter devices on the machine, on the web page dedicated to winter operations.
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