Which departments are concerned by the mountain law?

mountain law

The mountain law came into force on 1 November 2021. This law stipulates that winter tyres must be worn by vehicles in mountainous areas during the winter period. Yes, but two or four winter tyres are they compulsory? Which departments and vehicles are concerned? We explain it all to you!

mountain law

What does the Mountain Law 2022 say?

Implementing decree no. 2020-1264 of 16 October 2020 was introduced to guarantee the safety and conditions of motorists and road users in the event of snow on the road. This law makes it compulsory to wear 3PMSF-approved winter tyres in certain départements chosen by the prefects during each winter period. Until 1 November 2021 panels B26 were installed on some roads encouraging motorists to wear special equipment on their vehicles in case of snowy roads. Please note that this decree only concerns the French territory.

In which cities are snow tyres or winter tyres compulsory? 

The prefects of the departments located in mountainous areas have determined the communes and vehicles affected by this precaution during the winter period. In addition to winter tyres, they have laid down requirements for heavy vehicles with semi-trailers or trailers to wear removable anti-skid devices such as chains or snow socks. These devices must be fitted to at least two drive wheels. The municipalities concerned include : 

  • Ain, Aisne, Allier, the Alpes-de-Haute-ProvenceAlpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ariège, Aube, Aude, Aveyron,
  • Cantal, Corse-du-Sud, Côte d'Or, Corrèze, Creuse, Haute-Corse
  • Doubs, Drôme
  • Gard
  • Haute-Garonne, Hérault, Haute-Corse, Haute-Loire, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haut-Rhin, Haute-Saône, 
  • Isère
  • Jura
  • Loire, Lozère, Lot
  • Pyrénées-Orientales
  • Saône-et-LoireKnowledge
  • Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn
  • Vaucluse, Vosges
  • Yonne

How do I know if my municipality is concerned by the mountain law?

Generally speaking, the mountain law applies to the French regions of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Saône-et-Loire. To find out whether your commune is covered by the mountain law, you will see signs or markings at the entrances and exits to mountainous areas. The latter has been progressively installed since 1 November 2021. These are B58 and B59 signs. As far as penalties are concerned, if you fail to comply with this mountain law, you risk paying a fine of 135 euros and your vehicle will be immobilised in the event of an inspection from the 2023 and 2024 seasons. In this case, the penalty will be imposed on the driver, not the owner.

Know the essential equipment: are 2 or 4 snow tyres compulsory?

Vehicles travelling in areas covered by the mountain law must be fitted with winter tyres or snow tyres recognised by the law. To do so, they must adopt the marking : 

  • M+S or Mud and Snow corresponds to the former regulatory definition of a winter tyre. This equipment is authorised during the transition period, which will last until 1 November 2024. 
  • 3PMSF These tyres are mandatory from 1 November 2024. They comply with a European certification ensuring a minimum grip on snow during braking or acceleration.

Which vehicles are governed by the mountain law?

The obligations regarding the wearing of equipment in winter period are : 

  • For private vehicles, the mountain law requires the use of four winter tyres with anti-slip equipment such as snow chains or socks on two driven wheels.
  • Commercial vehicles such as vans or motorhome The mountain law requires winter tyres to be worn on at least two driven wheels. 
  • Coach and bus type vehicles
  • Heavy goods vehicles without trailers must be fitted with winter tyres on the steered wheels and chains on at least two driven wheels.
  • For HGVs with trailers, the mountain law makes it compulsory to wear snow chains on both drive wheels.
mountain law

Claudia Bernard

Claudia turned her passion for travel into a sustainable lifestyle by becoming a digital nomad. She explores the globe while working remotely, offering practical advice for those who want to combine work and a passion for travel. Discover her tips for finding the best work spots, managing jet lag and living a balanced nomadic life.

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