DRIVERS in the Alps have been warned by the police to make sure they clear their cars of snow – or face a €450 fine.
The warning from the Gendarmerie des Alpes-de-Haute-Provence comes as heavy snows blanket the region and holidaymakers take to the roads heading home from the ski resorts.
Some cars have been spotted with masses of snow piled on their roofs and the gendarmes say the drivers face a charge of “chargement mal arrimé” [carrying an insecure load] as the snow will block the driver’s vision when he brakes.
The snow or sheet of ice could also fall on the road at any time and cause other problems or even be blown back on to a driver following behind.
Simply clearing the windscreen is not enough and the gendarmes warn that drivers are responsible for having a safe vehicle and should clear snow or ice off the roof.
Drivers should use winter tyres in the high mountains – although there is no law obliging them to do so – and they are only compelled to use snow chains on roads that carry chaînes à neige obligatoires panels. The chains should be fitted to at least two driven wheels.
Route de Bourg. 4 pneus neige. Si vous n avez pas de pneus hiver, chaînes obligatoires. pic.twitter.com/nWtEvgzqoU— Radio Val d'Isère (@radiovaldisere) February 27, 2015
Photo: © Gendarmerie des Alpes-de-Haute-Provence