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MAP: where in France do you now need winter tyres or snow chains?

A new law means the requirements can be enforced in 48 mountainous departments, but not all have opted to bring the rule in

An image of the winter tyre road signs on a snowy background including a winter tyre

We look at where winter tyre rules will be imposed in France this year Pic: Sécurité Routière / Pics-xl / Shutterstock

From today and until March 31, people driving in mountainous areas of France are required to have their vehicles fitted with winter tyres or to carry snow chains or ‘socks’ in their boot. 

Read more: Reminder: Winter tyre rules enforced in French mountains from November

This rule has been in place since last year, but only this winter will people face a fine of €135 if they fail to comply. However, the government has now announced that no one will be fined until the end of 2022 at the earliest. 

“It is important to give people time to adapt; this isn’t a repressive measure,” a spokesperson said.

Winter tyre requirements can be imposed in 48 different mountainous departments, which  can choose to apply the rules to all of their area, some of their area, or not at all. 

Some 34 departments will enforce the requirements across at least some of their area this year, with 4,170 communes and 4,263,400 residents affected. 

The 48 departments in which winter tyre rules can be imposed are: Ain, Allier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Cantal, Côte d’Or, Creuse, Doubs, Drôme, Eure-et-Loir, Gard, Haute-Garonne, Hérault, Isère, Jura, Loire, Haute-Loire, Lot, Lozère, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Rhône, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Var, Vaucluse, Haute-Vienne, Vosges, Yonne, Territoire de Belfort, Corse du Sud and Haute-Corse. 

The 34 departments in which winter tyre rules are at least partially imposed are: Ain, Allier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Bas-Rhin, Cantal, Doubs, Drôme, Haute-Garonne, Haute-Loire, Hautes-Alpes, Haute-Saône, Haute-Savoie, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haut-Rhin, Isère, Jura, Loire, Lozère, Moselle, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rhône, Savoie, Tarn, Territoire de Belfort, Var, Vaucluse and Vosges. 

The level of winter tyre rule cover varies significantly depending on the department. In Puy-de-Dôme, for example, the requirement will only be in place above a 800m altitude. 

Neither Corsican department will enforce the rules, the prefecture having decided that the measure is not necessary.

For the exact details of the communes in which the rules are in place, you can check with your local prefecture. 

Drivers will be notified that they are entering a winter tyre zone by B58 and B59 road signs. The B58 sign shows a mountain above the word ‘ZONE’ and a picture of snow chains and winter tyres, surrounded by a red border. 

The B59 sign shows the same images, but with ‘ZONE’ replaced by ‘FIN DE ZONE’ and a black line struck diagonally across it. 

Winter tyre legislation aims to improve driver safety and prevent road blocks caused by accidents. 

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