Studded tires

Controversial Ban Now in Three Cities

Starting Frday, there's a partial ban on driving with studded winter ties in three Swedish cities.

The ban is an attempt to reduce the pollution where traffic is particularly heavy, since studded tires tear small particles from the road surface. According to some studies the resulting air pollution is responsible for several deaths every year here.

But the ban is controversial, with car and road safety organisations pointing to other studies that show that studded tires save ten lives a year in traffic accidents.

It is in particular older cars, with no ABS or anti-lock breaking system, where the studded tires have an effect. The critics of the ban also say that not enough is known about the polluting effect of the studded tyres.

A ban on studded tires was introduced last winter at Hornsgatan in central Stockholm, and now Uppsala and Gothenburg are following suit in their most busy roads in the city centers.

According to Swedish Radio News, the air around Hornsgatan has not improved significantly after the introduction of the ban, but there have been very few police checks, so many people have continued driving with the studded tires. Only 174 drivers have been fined for ignoring the ban.

Studded winter tires are generally allowed in Sweden between October 1st of October and April th.