Last call for winter tyre changes

More wintry weather and the legal deadline means drivers need to make sure they change the summer tyres for winter ones.

File photo / Credit: News Now Finland

If you haven’t switched to winter tyres on your car yet, it’s probably a good idea to do it soon, for a few reasons. reasons.

First, road safety conditions are dangerous this weekend across many parts of the country due to the weather situation, the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI warns.

“At the moment, there’s a low pressure in Finland and there’s a lot of wind and rains around the country. It’s currently raining anything between water and snow as the front crosses from south west Finland to Kainuu” says Anniina Valtonen, a meteorologist at FMI.

“At the same time, cold air from the west is flowing to Finland and the temperature is cooling rapidly. As the rain front moves towards the east and north east, the rain is about to turn into snow” she tells News Now Finland.

Valtonen forecasts that in North Karelia it’s possible to get up to 10cm of snow in the
next 12 hours, but snowfall in the south is much harder to predict.

“Even though southern Finland will freeze up as well, it is difficult to predict how much snow there will be piled ultimately because it has rained a lot recently and all the roads are still wet and warm” Valtonen explains.

If the ground doesn’t freeze before the next wave of precipitation, it’s possible that southern Finland won’t see much snow coverage at all.

However, if the ground becomes dry and frozen there could be a few centimetres of snow in the south as well.

“After the rains and upcoming frost, the roads will be slippery in any case. However it might appear – water, slush or snow – it will freeze up” says meteorologist Anniina Valtonen.

File picture of snowy winter landscape, February 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland

Clock is ticking for tyre change deadline

The second reason you probably want to switch out your summer tyres for winter ones is a legal reason.

For the time being the law says that tyres should be changed at the start of December until the end of February, but the regulations are about to change next year.

From the autumn 2020, for the first time, a new road traffic law will come into force, which will change the winter tyre regulations to mandate changes only when conditions dictate, and not depending on the calendar.

“The new Road Traffic Act emphasizes the driver’s own responsibility when it comes to tyres” explains Superintendent Heikki Ihalainen from the National Police Board.

“The law, which comes into force in June 2020, requires winter tyres to be used between November and March if the weather or the conditions requires it” Ihalainen says in a press release.