A study by the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (RACE) revealed, at the time, that 70% of the drivers who participated in their research were unaware or were not sure of knowing how to fit snow chains on their vehicle. Furthermore, 54% revealed that they did not have this complement, although a sanction weighs on its presence: For what reason can the DGT fine you: for not carrying them, for not using them, or for both?
The rule establishes that the mandatory equipment of a car must include a high visibility reflective vest, a portable and approved danger signaling system (the two warning triangles or the V16 light) as well as a spare wheel or an anti-puncture kit with the necessary tools to make the change . The presence of chains or winter tires will only be imperative in areas where they are necessary to circulate.
bring snow chains
If they are not essential, the Traffic agents will not be able to penalize us for not carrying the chains in the trunk of the car. However, the DGT places special emphasis on having them on hand as a preventive measure during the coldest months of the year. The reason? It’s simple: if an agent or the presence of the R-412 sign (the circular one with a blue background that represents a wheel with this non-slip system) requires their use, we will have to put them up. If we do not have it, we will have to stop the mark or turn around.
use snow chains
It will not only be the agents or the signs that tell us that the chains are necessary to circulate: the tone of the road will also do so. As we have already explained to you on occasion, the DGT establishes a color code to determine the state of the circulation and its limits depending on the intensity of the snowfall.
If it is green or yellow, you should be extremely careful at the wheel, adapting your driving to the road conditions: in these two scenarios, chains are not necessary. Yes it’s in red, the use of winter tires or chains will be mandatory and you will not be able to drive above 30 km/h. If it is in black, circulation will be prohibited for all vehicles.
It should be remembered that, according to the provisions of the General Vehicle Regulations, “when the use of chains or other authorized anti-slip devices is mandatory or recommended said chains or anti-slip devices must be placed, at least, on the axis of the driving wheelsor use special tires”.
yes, there is a fine
The sanctions are linked to the use of the chains, not to their presence in the trunk of the car. Ignoring their obligation when they are essential implies a fine of 200 euros (100 with prompt payment) without loss of points; In addition, you will not be able to continue circulating. However, the DGT insists that the most serious thing is not the economic punishment: it is the risk of losing control of the car and having a traffic accident.
The exception to the rule
There is only one case in which you will not be penalized for not using chains, even if they are essential: when your vehicle has winter tires marked M+S (Mud and Snow). You will recognize them because these two letters are accompanied by the alpine symbol: a three-peaked mountain with a snowflake. These compounds provide better grip, traction, braking distance and vehicle control. If the wheels are winter, but do not meet this requirement, you must drive with chains.