End of winter tyres rule despite snow forecasts

The compulsory use of winter tyres rule ends this weekend on Sunday when spring officially arrives for the road transport authorities.

The fact however that people will no longer be obliged to wear winter tyres does not seem to have been observed by mother nature – with snowfalls predicted on Monday in many parts of the country.

Motoring associations have however advised people to continue to use winter tyres for an additional week.

In Austria motorists traditionally switch from summer tyres through to winter tyres that have a different profile more suited to the cold and snow. The alternative tyres have much better traction in winter conditions avoiding many accidents.

Legally motorists have to have winter tyres between 1 November on 15 April. So if it snows on 16th of April and anybody is found to have caused an accident by using summer tyres on the snow-covered road – they won’t have broken any laws.

Road traffic accident lawyer Armin Kaltenegger said: “If I was to use summer tyres from Monday onwards I couldn’t be punished – although I could be regarded as reckless and face charges if I was for example going too fast for the conditions and driving in summer tyres. But no longer having winter tyres is not an offence after this weekend.”

Motorist organisation ÖAMTC however warned that although the compulsory insurance would not be affected – third-party insurance could be affected in that the company might refused to pay for damage caused by motorist who took to the roads in summer tyres when it was snowing.