Snow tires or chains become compulsory for drivers on part of the territory with the entry into force on Monday of the Mountain law. Objective, reduce traffic jams and improve safety. Which departments are involved? How long ? Explanations.

For drivers crossing the white zones of France, a new obligation comes into force on Monday, November 1. Motorists crossing the mountainous areas of France are now required to bring winter tires, chains, or snow socks. The bond runs until March 31, 2022 and will be renewed each year.

This device, called the Mountain Law, aims to limit traffic jams on roads and mountainous regions, but also to improve user safety. Which vehicles are affected? What equipment to bring? What are offenders at risk? The answers to your questions.

In total, winter tires are becoming compulsory in 48 of the 101 French departments. They are all located in the mountain ranges, namely the Alps, Corsica, the Massif Central, the Jura Massif, the Pyrenees and the Vosges Massif.

The prefects of these departments establish, as and when, the list of municipalities affected by the obligation. A forecast map of the areas concerned is available on the Road Safety website. It should be final on Monday.

In Isère, 162 municipalities are thus affected by the obligation, details France Bleu. In Meurthe-et-Moselle or in Yonne, on the other hand, the Mountain law will not be compulsory in any of the municipalities. The prefects of Cantal, Haute-Loire, Haute-Savoie, Puy-de-Dôme and Savoie have, for their part, issued a decree for all of their departments.

New signs will inform you of entry into a compulsory equipment area. A sign showing a mountain, a suitcase of chains and a tire must thus indicate the entries and exits of mountain areas where the winter equipment obligation applies.

In the areas established by the prefects, vehicles must either have metal or textile snow chains (known as “snow socks”) in their trunk, allowing them to be fitted with at least two driving wheels, or be equipped with four winter tires.

For the next three winters, the designation “winter tire” will be tolerated for all tires identified by one of the “M S”, “M.S” or “M & S” markings, details the text. The joint presence of the “alpine symbol” marking and one of the previously mentioned markings will also make it possible to benefit from the “winter tire” designation.

As for all-season tires, they do not currently have a regulatory definition. “To be considered as winter tires, they must be stamped” 3PMSF “, or at least” M S “for the transitional period of the first 3 years of application of the new regulations,” says Road Safety. Finally, vehicles with studded tires are exempt from equipment obligations.

All four-wheeled vehicles and more are affected by this regulatory change. Clearly, light vehicles, utility vehicles, buses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles will be subject to these obligations. They will have the choice between chains or winter tires.

On the other hand, heavy goods vehicles or semi-trailers have no alternative. They must have snow chains allowing at least two driving wheels to be fitted, even if they are fitted with winter tires.

If this obligation is not respected, drivers risk a 4th class fine of € 135 and the possible immobilization of their vehicle. But the Interior Ministry has already warned that breaches of this obligation will not be penalized this winter.

“Information and educational operations will accompany the implementation of this device in the coming weeks”, indicates the ministry. For lack of having the complete list of the municipalities concerned, and while the icy roads seem distant, many French people are still unaware of this regulation, which only extends a rule already in place on many dangerous roads.