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Winter speed limits in force by Friday

Winter speed limits will be in force nationwide by Friday at the latest, forcing motorists to slow down as the colder season sets in. The winter limits are some 20km per hour lower than those used in summer, but there are exceptions.

Poliisin valvontakemera.
Drivers who break speed limits can expect a fine all year round. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Drivers will have to slow down by this weekend at the latest, as Finland makes the annual change to lower winter speed limits. Workmen are busy this week changing signs across 8,200 km of Finnish roads ahead of the switch, and they'll be done by Friday 28 October at the latest.

The switch means that on motorways vehicles can travel no faster than 100km an hour, down from the current 120km per hour. On trunk roads the speed limit is 80km per hour during the colder months.

There are some exceptions to the rules. For instance the 100km per hour limit is sometimes retained where trunk roads have a central reservation, or where the road sees little traffic. On some roads the winter limit is even lower, at 60km per hour, if the surface is in poor condition.

Summer speed limits will return in March and April, depending on weather conditions. Then the speediest drivers on the biggest roads will be able to travel at 120km per hour.

Motorists should also prepare to change to winter tyres, which are compulsory from 1 December until the end of February, and advisable outside that period in bad weather.

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