Since November 1, 2021, the Mountain Law has officially come into force. This text established the obligation for motorists in some 48 departments located in mountainous areas to use winter tires or chains during the season in question. The aim of this legislation is not only to reduce the number of road accidents, but also to try to reduce the number of traffic jams caused by vehicles stuck in the snow, as reported by our colleagues from Capital.
This concerns vehicles for individuals, light vehicles, motorhomes, utility vehicles, goods transport vehicles, buses and coaches. According to the text of the law, if a motorist driving a car that does not have the compliant equipment is checked by the authorities, he incurs a fine of 135 euros.
In fact, a tolerance as to these verbalizations operated, and was planned to last until the end of the year 2022. Said tolerance is now extended until the end of March 2023. The cause: no decision has been finalized as to the decree that would allow the sanctions to be applied. Added to this are the financial implications that such an obligation would have for motorists. Indeed, in the face of galloping inflation and current fuel prices, the executive is reluctant, rightly some will say, to further increase the financial burden of those who travel by car.
Finally, the Minister of Transport Clément Beaune, had already assured the entry into force of the measure in November 2022 that it was not for repressive purposes. The extended tolerance over a second season aims to give French people time to equip themselves properly, and to continue the educational scope of the text: to make motorists understand the importance of a vehicle with equipment adapted to certain conditions.