New UN Regulation harmonises identification and snow performance of studded tyres
High-quality winter tyres are indispensable for driving safely on snowy or icy roads. Requirements vary from country to country, but usually winter tyre are those identified with special markings. The entry-level winter tyres are marked M+S (Mud plus Snow). Advanced winter tyres for use in severe snow conditions are marked with an alpine symbol or Three Peak Mountain SnowFlake (3PMSF). These tyres must pass a special snow grip test and be type approved according to UN Regulation No. 117.
There exists another large group of winter tyres: the ones equipped with studs of hard material (e.g. metal) to improve traction properties on ice surfaces and packed snow. However, studded tyres fall out of the scope of UN Regulation No. 117, and therefore are not allowed to be marked with the snow grip symbol, despite their good performance. This situation has created problems in some countries regarding the acceptance of studded tyres as winter tyres.
To fill this gap, the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) adopted a new UN Regulation to cover performance requirements and marking of studded tyres. The draft was prepared by a group of experts from Governments and the tyre industry, under the leadership of Finland. The new Regulation is expected to enter into force in September 2022.
The new Regulation will increase road safety by introducing harmonised snow grip requirements for studded tyres. It will equally simplify the legislative situation in countries that allow the usage of studded tyres on public roads, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Russian Federation, and in several other European countries which either fully or through specifically defined regions or use cases allow the use of studded tyres in their territories. Finally, consumers will benefit from more coherent winter tyre markings.
The new Regulation covers studded tyres for passenger cars, buses and trucks and introduces strict requirements and procedures for testing their snow grip.
In: CLEPA News, Safety