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European standard on snow socks introduced

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A new European standard has been introduced for the use of supplementary grip devices, such as snow chains and snow socks, whether they are metallic, textile or hybrids.

Up until this regulation was introduced, snow chains (not socks or other devices) were mandatory in many alpine regions of Austria, Germany and Italy, where winter tyres were not deemed to provide sufficient safety for winter driving.

The new standard – EN 16662-1:2020 – defines the testing methods for such devices and sets out a minimum performance on snow and ice irrelevant of the material used or construction. This now means that all approved products are able to be used, not just metallic snow chains.

AutoSock, a manufacturer of fabric-based devices has been campaigning for these new guidelines for 10 years. Its product for cars and light commercials up to 3.5 tonnes is approved and certified to the new standards.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer AutoSock as an alternative to snow chains in all EU countries,” says Odd Christian Krohn, CEO of AutoSock.

These standards have to be implemented in all EU member states with a new identical national standard or by endorsement, at 30 November 2020, withdrawing any conflicting regulations at the same time.

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