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From the coming winter season, Norway will have new regulations for the use of winter tyres on heavy vehicles. 

On 15th November 2020 (and 16th November 2020 in the north of the country), new regulations for winter tyres for trucks will come into force in Norway, approved by the parliament at the end of last year. From mid-November, trucks will be required to have tyres with the 3PMSF designation, with a distinctive symbol featuring a snowflake and three mountain peaks. This means that it will no longer be possible to use tyres marked M+S (Mud and Snow) in Norway.

In addition, the way in which fines are calculated will be changed, namely: a separate fine will be issued for each of the infringements related to winter tyres and chains. Below is the information provided by Statens vegvesen (Norwegian Road Administration).

Mandatory tyres with a snowflake symbol

A vehicle with a GVW exceeding 3.5 t must be fitted with winter tyres with the symbol of a snowflake and three mountain peaks (3PMSF) on the drive and front steered axles. For other axles, Mud and Snow (M+S) or 3PMSF tyres may be used.

If the vehicle is fitted with studded Mud and Snow tyres manufactured from week 40 of 2017 up to and including week 40 of 2019 (date of manufacture is shown on the tyre sidewall), the requirement to use 3PMSF tyres on drive and front steering axles does not apply for the 2020/21 winter season. Trailers with a GVW over 3.5 t must be fitted with M+S or 3PMSF tyres in Norway.

Please also note that in Norway, studded tyres (average length 1.7 mm) are allowed from 1 November to the first Sunday after Easter. In Nordland, Troms and Finnmark from 16 October to 30 April. Studded tyres should be fitted on the same axle for heavy goods vehicles and trailers. In the case of twin tyres, it is sufficient when one of them has studs. All studded tyres on the same vehicle must have approximately the same number of studs.

If a trailer with a design speed of over 50 km/h and a service brake is fitted with studded tyres, there must be studded tyres on all wheels on all axles. In the case of combinations with twin wheels, it is sufficient to have studded tyres on one of the twin wheels. This applies irrespective of the maximum permissible trailer weight.

In addition, vehicles over 3.5 t must be fitted with chains during the period in which the use of studded tyres is permitted. Each tractor with a trailer must be fitted with 7 chains.

As the Norwegian Road Administration stresses, the vehicle must have winter tyres (with or without studs) and chains also outside the periods mentioned above, if this is necessary to ensure sufficient grip on the road. If snow or ice can be expected on the roads, the vehicle must be equipped with chains regardless of the season.

Required tread depth

A minimum 5 mm tread depth is required on tyres of vehicles with a GVW over 3.5 t (both motor vehicles and their trailers) between 1 November and the first Sunday after Easter Monday (Nordland, Troms and Finnmark – between 16 October and 30 April). Outside these periods tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm.

Fines for tyre-related offences

As a reminder, from this season on, a separate fine will be imposed for each infringement relating to tyres and equipment in winter.

The following fines are provided for driving with insufficient tread depth or for incorrect tyres in winter:

NOK 1,000 per tyre in the case of motor vehicles with a GVW not exceeding 7.5 tonnes,

NOK 2,000 per tyre in the case of motor vehicles with a GVW over 7.5 tonnes.

For the absence of chains, the following fines apply:

NOK 750 in the case of motor vehicles with a GVW not exceeding 7.5 tonnes,

NOK 1,200 in the case of motor vehicles with a GVW over 7.5 tonnes,

NOK 1,500 in the case of motor vehicles with a GVW over 7.5 tonnes pulling a trailer with a GVW over 3.5 t.

There is one fine for the absence of chains.

Furthermore, as Statens vegvesen points out, instead of getting a ticket, a driver can be reported to the police in cases of serious infringements. If a vehicle has insufficient grip, whether the driver is fined or reported to the police, it may be banned from driving.

Photo credit: pxfuel.com

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