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01/30/2012 - 04:26


Ferry companies will sell them on board - but you can get cheap ones in French pharmacies [but you'd have to drive there to get one, and S*d's Law says you'd get stopped on the way] I assume that they'll soon be available on the web

Apparently the fine is only €17 for not carrying one, and as this Law is aimed at reducing accident levels of French drivers, I would risk it when travelling through France. However I would not risk the €80 fine in Italy for not having Snow Chains in the car, as I know they are now using this legislation to bolster the local coffers, and why every gas station now sells chains along with Supermarkets and the price has dropped to €56 a set.

Maybe unified on paper, but they will never be unified in deed. The old North v South divide will always be there and on a local level our village is always suspicious of any body who comes from a certain nearby village because they are all ' Ladri e Bugiardi '......

In reply to by Esme

Here's a bit of typical Italian legislation for you; In the province of Ascoli Piceno you only need to carry snow chains or have thermal tyres fitted if you're driving over 300 metres above sea level, or on the autostrada / superstrada. In the neighbouring province of Fermo you need them wherever you are including autostrada / superstrada. A friend of a mate in the Fermo area was fined for not carrying snow chains / having thermal tyres fitted whilt driving along the Lungomare of Porto San Georgio. Knowing your provincial boundries can be useful....

Penny I do have them and have had for a couple of years, and always carry them in the Car. Just trying to illustrate that if there is not much snow in your area (we are in Tuscany and have only had one snow fall to mention) then you will be really unfortunate to get stopped/fined by the powers that be..... I know the Marche has had a lot more snow thatn us so prudent to be sensible.

the law says you do on certain roads up until mid March, but to be honest I haven't been stopped all Winter, and if there is no snow where you are going I wouldn't bother. Make sure you have a couple of reflective vests in the car though as law in France and Italy to use if broken down. Check other posts on Chains for more details.

Flip, quite a few people have been stopped here in Marche and the carabinieri have checked whether they have chains on board or snow tyres so I wouldn't be so sure. I wouldn't like to see what would happen if you were involved in an accident and didn't have them - I'm sure the insurance company would wriggle out of it and land the blame firmly at your door. I know in some Scandinavian countries, if you are not using snow tyres then any accident is automatically your fault even if you did nothing wrong.

We have been stopped in Southern Marche, Montegiorgio area just b/f the snow,  carrying chains, and vests so no problem, but commented on our tyres, but let off.We now have 4 new tyres, it seems the fine is 100e the Carabinieri were in a good mood that day. Very much in evidence on our roads here be warned.