Tyres: what does French law say?

Published on : 31 October 20192 min reading time

French tyre regulations are strict on the characteristics of tyres. It also concerns possible wear and tear as well as the structure. Drivers must therefore ensure that the obligations on tyres are respected. Thus, they will be protected from a fourth category contravention that could result in a fine.

Tire-related obligations are defined by article R314 of the Highway Traffic Act. According to this law, both tyres must have the same dimensions and make. They must also have the same speed and load characteristics. In other words, they must have the same index. This is also the case for the structure.

For permanent 4 x 4 or 4-wheel drive cars, the tyres must have identical characteristics. The change must also be made at the same time. Note that different wear on each tire can lead to mechanical problems. The law also prohibits the use of chains, except in snowy periods.

What the Tire Characteristics Act says

The obligations impose the good condition of each tire. According to the decree of 30 September 1997, it must not have any tears or holes. It is therefore better to replace the tires of your car before they reach the legal threshold. These rules concern the tyres of cars in categories M 1, N1, O 1 and O 2. This French tire regulation requires that each of the tires on the road be equipped with main grooves with a minimum depth of 1.6 mm.

For grooves in two tyres mounted on one axle, Article 9.3 states that their thickness must not exceed 5 mm. Article 3 even prohibits the driving of vehicles with different tyre structures. However, this law excludes spare tires that are reserved for temporary use. Two tires with different characteristics should not be mounted on a single axle either.

What sanctions?

The owner of a car that violates French tyre regulations should generally expect penalties. Indeed, he is dealing with a fourth-class ticket. It concerns a fine of 90 euros to 375 euros.

Sanctions may even extend to the immobilisation of the vehicle at the initiative of the authorities. Such a measure may be taken if non-compliance with the rules endangers the safety of the driver and users alike.

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