BRUSSELS, Belgium (Oct. 17, 2012)—A member of the European Parliament is calling for a harmonized definition of winter tires to be established across Europe as part of a broader evaluation of how tires affect vehicle safety.
Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, vice chairman of the European Parliament's transport committee, speaking at a recent EP policy breakfast, said each country should be allowed to legislate as it sees fit, so that southern European countries—which see little winter weather—would not need the same laws as Germany or Scandinavia.
Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association, agreed, saying winter tire technology has proved its potential to enhance drivers' safety and mobility in winter conditions.
In this context, she called on member states to apply the winter tire definition set by the EU in Regulation 661/2009—effective for new types of tires from November 2012—and to proceed with legislation as they judge appropriate for their countries' climate requirements.
Szabolcs Schmidt, head of the Unit for Road Safety in the European Commission, said he agreed that winter tires could improve road safety during the winter conditions and that tires in general play potentially an important role in reducing road accidents.
To this end, after the first step of establishing a definition for winter tires, he announced that in 2013 a study will be launched to evaluate the role that tires could have in increasing road safety.