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Winter speed limits coming into force

Lower winter speed limits will take effect on Finland's roads and highways no later than by Friday this week.

Nopeusrajoituskylttiä vaihdetaan talvinopeukselle.
Winter speed limit signs will start appearing on Thursday this week. Image: Yle

The switching of signs over to winter speed limits is scheduled to begin on Thursday and be completed before the start of the weekend.

In general, motorists will have to slow down by 20km/h as the colder season sets in, but there are some exceptions.

The winter limit on main trunk roads is 80km/h, but will remain at 100km/h on some lesser-travelled rural stretches.

In contrast, speed limits of 60km/h or 70km/h will be imposed on some high-traffic sections of road, and/or on sections in poor condition.

Highway speed limits are coming down to 100km/h for the winter season. There are, however, some sections of highways where speeds of 120km/h may continue in force up until the end of November during daylight hours and under good driving conditions.

Time to change tyres

With winter approaching, it is close to time for motorists to switch over to winter tyres, even in the south of the country.

"It's not worthwhile trying to save money when you buy tyres. That's short-term savings if you have a collision because of poor tyres," points out Teppo Vesalainen of the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland.

Drivers can choose between studded winter tyres or non-studded winter tread tyres. These can be found on sale new, used and re-treaded.

Story continues after photo.

Nastarenkaisiin laitetaan yleensä hieman ylipainetta pakkasia silmälläpitäen.
Most motorists in Finland prefer to drive on studded tyres during the winter months. Image: Raimo Torikka / Yle

Nationwide, 80 percent of motorists drive on studded tyres during the winter months. The further north one goes, the higher the number of vehicles sporting studded tyres.

Jarmo Nuora, who chairs a national tyre specialists association, points out that regardless of what kind of winter tyres motorists choose, the right style of handling a car on snow and ice is what can bring the biggest savings.

"Wear-and-tear burns up the most money, so you save the most with controlled driving. Drive calmly and cleanly, don't hit the gas and spin your tyres, just drive as smoothly as possible," Nuora advises.

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