snow chains

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Rayb182, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Rayb182

    Rayb182 Funster Life Member

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    Theres been a lot of threads concerning snow chains, liquid and otherwise, we're going down thru north west France and into and thru Spain to Zahora in December, is it law to carry snow chains in these two countries, and do you think I will need them.
    T.I.A.
     
  2. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    it depends on the route

    It will depend on the route.. but I purchased a couple of the spray tins of liquid snow chains.. not very big.. good for a couple of hits on the driving wheels of a car or one good go on a motorhome ..need a couple for double back wheels such as an RV.. but I got them for SWMBO to use on the Smart and one for a friend on her polo. Hope we do not have to use them to soon.

    Bob:Eeek:
     
  3. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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  4. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    I think you will find its only mandatory to carry and use snowchains in these countries when the signs are lit to use them. If the roads are that bad that you need snowchains in my opinion its best to park up and wait till the road is clear. If its a major trunk road you wont have long to wait. I was caught out once going to Spain via Andora. Bought snowchains at a ridiculous price and never used them again.
     
  5. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Sorry Dave, I Don't think that's the case, Its mandatory to have them at all times in some regions regardless of if the signs are on or not, you can get a tug and be asked to show them as part of your essential driving equipment like hi vis vests etc.

    Also Bob, I think you will struggle to convince Liquid snowchains meet the regional requirements for carrying chains, but maybe you know better, if you do, please let me know.

    To answer your question Ray, it will depend as said on the route you take. In some region's it is a necessity to have snow chains regardless of what time of year it is. Even in the summer you could in some areas/regions, have to prove that you have chains on board.

    In Andorra the carrying of snow chains is Compulsory throughout the year.

    Between 15 October and 15 April or at other times if conditions dictate. Provinces can introduce their own legislation making the use of winter tyres and snow chains compulsory.
    That is something that we have always kept in mind and insisted on having them packed regardless.
    So the trick is just get some, I have just ordered some snow socks for this year ski trips. A little more easy to put on.

    The above is only on my knowledge of France and Andorra, I have not been to Spain,
     
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  6. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Does this mean I must buy snow chains for our trip to France Nov till Feb (Limoges)? :cry:
     
  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Having looked at Hollyberrys link...It doesn't say anywhere that its compulsory to carry them,only when the signs are lit.
    Commercial vehicles are different, they have to carry them in many countries.
     
  8. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    Can you tell me about snow socks as opposd to chains....and is there a good value/superior brand

    thanks

    barry

    ps I read that 98% of chain smokers prefer cigarettes to chains
     
  9. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Right : there is a slight difference between the "must" of having for example triangle in your car and the "must" have chains Paul (IN FRANCE that is)

    With the first one if you don't have them , which ever the place ..... you'll get fined!

    With the second one : NO FINE !! If you don't have them while you could need them then you are just not allowed to go on ...OR you are asked to buy them before going any further.

    Yes it is compulsory in a few areas because it is a "usual snowy area" but you could cross all France from south to North without being asked to buy them if you don't have them just because it has been snowing (and you never knew it would !) I went to Paris with Steph to move her into her new flat , boot full, and France under snow! We were all driving very slowly on the motorways (about 20kms/hour) but never ever a policeman told us to stop and put chains on, as french are not used to snow and so never have them unless they live in very specific areas.


    So i would say : It is up to you ! I would think you probably are going to need them when crossing the Pyrénées , but not sure ! If you are ready to be delayed/to buy chains where you'll be stopped ...ok then leave your chains home!

    I would take them for this particular area (and i only have a car!!!!)... mountains are dangerous , it is not flat and straight and ....if you slip .... you go DOWN !!!! Is it worth it ? :RollEyes:


    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile::Smile:
     
  10. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    NO Ken !

    You won't cross any mountains area or dangerous snowy area . If it snows ...just stop cause french are not very easy with snow ! They are more dangerous than the snow itself

    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile::Wink:
     
  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Dave, I can only deal with the facts as I know them and not in the written word. If you go to "SOME" areas of France, it is compulsory to have them, failure to carry them in Alpine regions WILL result in a fine, Not having them when YOU NEED THEM will result in a more serious fine. As said, part of driving equipment as like a high vis vest. Following Hollyberry's link its quite clear.


    Which are the countries that snow chains are mandatory to be carried and used, when dictated by road signs or prevailing weather conditions?

    In addition to the snow chain requirements it is also mandatory, in most countries, to carry and wear a reflective jacket as well as have a warning triangle in the car.

    *Please see further notes
    at bottom of page


    Andorra

    Austria

    Denmark *Not compulsory but recommended

    France

    Germany

    Italy

    Norway

    Sweden

    Switzerland

    Information source: The AA

    Please note that in any country, including UK, snowchains may only be used where there is sufficient snow covering to avoid any possibility of damaging the road surface


    Read in to that what you will, but I still know as a fact, if pulled in an alpine region regardless of time of year you can be asked to show evidence that you have snow chians, either that or the police are ripping people off by fining people illegally.

    Snow socks are readily available, for me , Im not too worried about brands, in about 7 years of visiting Places of High snow fall and in some cases 2/3 times a year, I have only used chains twice, and one of them was to get on to a site :Blush: The other, I had real trouble getting snow chains on and enlisted help... The amount of time you are likely to use them there seems little point in going for the crem de le crem socks, unless of course you plan to move and live in an area whereby you are likely to use them often. (i wish). Im opting for socks based on being a little simpler to put on. The other thing I do is always carry a bag of grit. It has got me out of trouble on a few occasions, putting it down to get the wheels moving and then when moving your on your way.

    No Ken, not nessearily ,It depends on the region and where you are planning on visiting , from memory, Parc Verger is not in a snow chain area, unless you fancy tripping up to the Pyraneese when you are there. However what many people forget is even in a country like France, the weather can change real real quick and leave you in trouble. Especially in mountain regions, you can go from calm sun to 1ft snow drifts in minute's therefore my motto is always be prepared. for the sake of £50 is it worth not carrying them?
    Even trunk roads and auto routes can succumb, Last year Ash and I were nearly in trouble on some pretty main roads as the weather came in.
     
  12. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Frankie,
    The question was/is
    Is it law to carry snow chains in these two countries.

    You have answered the question based on the trip to Zahorra,

    I have answered the question based on the question.

    You have backed this up. There are parts of France whereby "it IS compulsory to carry snow chains" as you say, it maybe snowy areas but nethertheless compulsory. Although of course Ray is not going there, (cant speak for Spain) I think only a fool would trip through the Pyraneese on to Andorra and drop in to Spain with out snow chains. :Blush:
     
  13. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    No Paul i did answer on the question as i was thinking as well about your trip to Alps for example . The slight difference is on being FINED ! You are supposed to have snow chains where you are going to snowy areas BUT if you don't have them you won't be fined ! (unless and that is different , IF, because of you not having chains , you are badly/wrongly parked and are a pain for the others on the road)

    it is the only difference between your answer and mine . I checked again a minute ago and it is the law. That's why i said it is up to people : If they don't intend to cross mountains if ready to be stopped and be told to buy them..leave them. If NOT , take them ! I would take them if knowing i am going through moutains in France.

    I hope i have been a bit clearer.

    Your answer is wise anyway !


    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile:
     
  14. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Just saw that paul ... If it happens to you , Please let me know as i am sure i can complain for you !!!


    Same thing for any funster who thinks he is being ripped off by the police ! Do think about asking for the badge with Name on !

    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile:
     
  15. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    well, no cos now Im more confused than ever in the letter of the law:Rofl1:

    According to our AA/RAC website, The CRYSTAL SKI holiday Guide they clearly state that in some areas "Snow chains are compulsory" (like my answer) and you not having them "can lead to a fine or in severe cases the cost of a recovery truck to recover your vehicle" presumably this would be when it was blocking the road and would need to be moved?

    What your saying is that is not the case and you can only be fined if you are not having snow chains when you need them? am I reading that correctly? Yet also on some of the areas I have been too, the signs clearly state that the carrying of snow chains is compulsory?

    What your saying is if I was a bit of a chancer, then I wouldn't actually have to bother as the law doesn't say I have to have them? :cry::cry:

    Sorry to move the thread on from what Ray was asking and bear in mind I am talking Alpine ski regions now.
     
  16. offwego

    offwego Read Only Funster

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    Here is my three pence contribution for what it is worth !!

    In the early morning of 9th January 2010, I was driving along the motorway between Zaragoza and Valencia, when it began to snow. And boy did it snow, a real blizzard which continued for perhaps an hour. As it was still dark and not having any winter tyres or chains fitted to my car, this became quite frightening:Eeek:
    Naturally progress was very slow as the visibility was very poor to say the least.
    Gradually as the day broke, visibility improved slightly and the Spanish police started to wake up. It wasn't long before we were told by the police, that if we didn't have chains it was not possible to continue and we must get off the motorway and park up in a huge service station/parking lot. And there we sat for about six hours until conditions improved. Even driving from the exit of the motorway to the parking area proved tricky with quite deep snow drifts to contend with.
    This begs the question, if we had had snow chains would it have been prudent to carry on driving ?
    If I had been in my motorhome, even with snow chains, I don't think I would have taken the risk of continuing on the motorway. But there may well be braver souls out there than me.
    Following that experience I bought some chains for the repeat trip in January this year, but of course Murphy's law came into operation with not one drop of snow !!

    offwego
     
  17. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Amicalement

    frankie:Smile::Smile::Smile:
     
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  18. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    In France in practice rarely outside of alpine areas. Don't forget that the central area the Massif Central has it's own ski resorts if you were contemplating using the A75 past Clermont Ferrand.

    Of course it's possible for any area to have snow (southern England has had too), but the probabilty is low if you stick to the west coast of France but cross the border south of Perpignan.

    The reality is the major routes have priority to be cleared first, so if there may be a problem stay with the autoroute as they are most prepared.

    Last winter we were caught in two lots of heavy snow in central and northern France. We had no snow chains as did no others we saw, but it did make 10 hour journeys into 20 hour ones.
    When the autoroutes are hit with heavy snow the authorities stop trucks from moving by stopping them at services or toll booths, this keeps the roads a fair bit clearer for smaller vehicles.

    Hope this helps
     

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