Fewer choosing studded tyres
The proportion of studded and non-studded tyres in the capital region is surveyed monthly by the Efla engineering company. This winter’s first survey took place on 11th November. It concluded that 29.5 percent of cars were on studs, and 70.5 percent were not. Last year, that figure was 34.9 percent of drivers using studs, and the year before 37.2 percent, which equates to a 7.7 drop this year.
It is worth noting that early winter this year has been mild and that some drivers may be holding off on changing tyres until the weather gets worse.
Studded tyres are legal in Iceland from 1st November to 14th April each winter and drivers caught with them outside this time face a fine of 80,000 krónur (or 20,000 per wheel). In reality, the police are lenient and take account of weather conditions, as well as giving people (and garages) extra time in the spring before handing out any fines.
In Akureyri, the local government has called on motorists to use other, non-studded types of winter tyres. 75 percent of Akureyri motorists have chosen studs for their cars in recent winters. The City of Reykjavík has also called on motorists to go without studs; saying their use within city limits is unnecessary.
Studded tyres are designed to provide extra grip and safety in icy road conditions, but when roads are not icy, they can instead damage asphalt, creating a find airborne dust that can exacerbate respiratory problems.