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For medium/heavy vehicles current European legislation does not establish specific markings for tyres to be used in winter conditions, except for the letters M+S (Mud +Snow). Generally this marking is present on drive axle tyres.

In addition to the European framework, there is local legislation which calls for the use of M+S tyres as an alternative to snow chains, or in conjunction with them, at specific times of the year or on designated roads.

In Italy, the law equates the use of chains, in all situations, with the use of winter tyres (M+S marking). In Scandinavia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, winter tyres (M+S marking) are required by law.

Germany and Austria have recently introduced new rules for buses and trucks obliging them to use “M+S” tyres (at least on one drive axle) in certain conditions. In Germany, if a vehicle is not equipped with proper tyres, it may not be allowed to circulate.

In Austria,” winter” tyres (those with M+S marking) are mandatory from 1st November to 15th April. Snow chains are allowed as an alternative only in cases in which the roadway is icy or covered in snow.

The above summary and information at page 7 are only for reference, we recommend that all operators carefully check with local authorities the regulations to comply with in case of snowfall / winter conditions.

It is also important to note that, for tyres with the M+S marking, the same legal limits regarding minimum tread depths apply. In nearly all European countries this limit is 1.6mm, with the exceptions of Germany, Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden, where the minimum tread depth limit can be as high as 4mm.

M+S tyres are actually “all season” tyres, they grant, apart from traction and grip on dry/wet surfaces, good performance in case of mild winter conditions (mild snow or ice covered roads, flat roads, melting ice or slush, also mixed with mud).

Pirelli advises, in case of constant winter conditions: temperature below 4℃ and on snow/ice covered surfaces ,on winding and sloping roads, to use tyres specifically developed and designed for this application . These tyres are M+S and normally have an additional information marking (like a snowflake).

These tyres are designed to offer maximum grip, traction, reduced braking distance even in cases of heavy snowfall and very low road surface temperatures.

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