Compulsory winter tires effective starting November 1

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In some places in Austria, we are still sitting in the sun at around 20 degrees – and we are supposed to talk about winter tires. Yes, because from November 1, the situational winter tire obligation applies.

The law on situational winter tire obligation in Austria applies from November 1 to April 15 of the following year, no matter what the weather is like. No matter how high the temperatures climb. Hence, “situational.” This means that in winter conditions (snow, slush, ice) only vehicles with winter tires are allowed on the roads. No one requires that you drive with winter tires when the roads are dry. Not even in January.

But already when the road conditions are winter. For this, a little slush is enough. It does not have to be “deep winter.” If the winter tire obligation is ignored, it can lead to severe penalties: During a traffic control, the executive can impose fines of up to €10,000 in extreme cases. Also, problems with the insurance are pre-programmed if there is a traffic accident in winter driving conditions and the vehicle is not equipped with winter tires in the sense of the law.
Which tires?

Only those tires may be used as winter tires on which the following markings can be found: M+S, M.S., M&S, M/S or a snowflake symbol. All-season tires also have this marking and are therefore permitted. “These symbols are intended to guarantee that the tires are suitable for special use on winter roads,” says Erich Groiss, technical coordinator at ARBÖ. In individual cases, however, you can not necessarily rely on it, especially with cheap brands. So, it’s better to choose good tires, and tire test reports can help. A winter tire should not only prevent a report but also dangerous situations or accidents.

What many do not know: Tires with less than four millimetres of tread depth are generally not considered winter tires! By the way, five millimetres applies to trucks over 3.5 t.

  • source: krone.at/picture: pixabay.com
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