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PLANNING to drive to France during the winter months? Be warned, a new tyre law that has come into force in various parts of the country.

The winter tyre regulation, that has been designed to enhance road safety, is now active from November to the end of March and requires motorists to have winter specific tyres fitted when travelling in 48 French regions – or they could incur a fine of €135.

Including popular skiing and mountainous destinations, such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Vosges, Jura and Massif Central, the winter tyre law applies to all private cars and vans, commercial vehicles and motorhomes.

Vehicles fitted with all-season tyres that have the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS) marking will also be permitted to drive in these areas in France.

Continental Tyres, surveyed 2,000 holidaymakers to discover just how many are planning on visiting France and if these destinations were among the hotspots for the holidaymakers.

The results found that four in 10 are hoping to visit a mountainous part of France now that restrictions have eased, with 46% of these considering taking their vehicle. Of those surveyed that have previously visited these parts of France, 61% did drive while on their travels.

Overall, 81% of potential holidaymakers were unaware of this new law. When asked if they would still consider driving to these regions of France in light of the new regulations, 18% would ensure their vehicle is fitted with winter tyres, while worryingly a quarter (25 per cent) would just continue as normal.

Pete Robb, from Continental Tyres, said: “Driving from Calais down to the mountainous regions of France is a really popular trip for those that want to ski or just experience this stunning part of the world. However, these roads can be treacherously slippery in the winter, with drivers encountering extreme conditions.

“Winter tyres are designed to give motorists added protection when tackling the dangerous environments that drivers are likely to face on a mountain during winter. By following these regulations, motorists will not only significantly increase their safety on the roads, but they will also avoid an unnecessary fine.”

While winter and all-season tyres with the 3PMS marking are essential for those looking to make the journey to France, they are also important for motorists in the UK during the colder months.

For those not wanting to switch specifically to winter tyres to travel around in France it’s worth considering all-season tyres which can be used all year round, offering good winter-driving characteristics, safe handling in all weather conditions and excellent fuel efficiency.



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