New requirements for equipment in winter
Montagne II Law: who is affected?
Light vehicles, utility vehicles, coaches, buses and HGVs without a trailer or semi-trailer must have a choice of either four winter tyres fitted or metal or textile snow chains that can be installed on two drive wheels.
HGVs with a trailer or semi-trailer must have snow chains that can be installed on at least two drive wheels, even if they are fitted with winter tyres (even if they are studded).
Scope and period of application
These requirements apply in 48 French departments . The prefects have drawn up a list of the municipalities affected. These areas will be marked by new road signs.
The requirement first came into force from 1 November 2021 until 31 March 2022 (it is renewed each year to the same timetable). The fine for failure to comply is 135 euros. The government says that ‘tolerance’ will be applied in winter 2021.
How do you comply with this requirement when managing your fleet?
Determining the vehicles affected by this safety measure
Fitting winter tyres can reduce risks on the road for employees in winter but has an impact on your TCO. Determining as part of your car policy (see the section below on this policy) which drivers should be eligible for winter tyres can keep costs under control.
Vehicles that are used in areas where the Montagne II Law applies and where there is a likelihood of snow are affected by the requirement. In any case, set out the rules and conditions for obtaining them to prevent the criteria from being subject to interpretation.
Managing the life span of your tyres
Using a fleet management solution with on-board telematics can enable you to:
- identify the affected vehicles in your fleet,
- anticipate the schedule of interventions to install winter tyres, and the storage of tyres not being used,
- receive tyre condition indicators (pressure, wear, etc.) throughout the winter to prevent any safety issues and maximise tyre life.
4. Raise driver awareness effectively through your car policy
Although the majority of drivers drive more carefully in winter, the increase in risk factors means driving best practices should be highlighted as well as the procedures to be followed if a problem occurs.
The car policy is a documentation centre directly accessible by drivers from their Ocean Conduite mobile app. This means that you can easily provide them with all the safety information they need.
Provide good driving rules
Remind your drivers how to adapt their driving to winter conditions. These driving principles should include:
- driving smoothly (moderate speed, no sudden manoeuvres, especially in wet or icy conditions)
- allowing bigger stopping distances and reducing your speed to suit the weather conditions
- making a habit of checking your vehicle and switching on your headlights, even during the daytime
- increasing the frequency of stops to stave off tiredness at the wheel and prevent vehicle overheating
- adapting journeys and following the best route (limiting travel at night, avoiding risky areas, etc.)
- following the safety instructions specifically applicable to HGVs (longer stopping distances, travelling in convoy in case vehicles get stuck, etc.)
Document the procedures to be followed if there is a problem
By means of themed factsheets or detailed FAQs, be sure to include in your car policy the answers to any questions that your drivers may have in the event of an incident:
- Deadlines and monitoring procedures for vehicle servicing: indicate the frequency of checking fluid levels, the date when winter/summer tyres are changed, etc.
- Procedure in the event of an incident or accident:
- Procedure for filling in a report form, in the event of serious/minor injuries, etc.
- Useful contacts: list of the nearest breakdown recovery service, emergency number, company contact in the event of questions, etc.
- What to do until the emergency services arrive (use of first aid kit, parking of vehicle, etc.)
Sharing of this information may be combined with courses and training for the drivers most exposed to the risks.