Swiss to launch “Better Tires” campaign to alert public to new labels
BERN, SWITZERLAND – The European Union comes out with new tire labels 1 November, with information now required on how well they grip damp road surfaces, their noise level and energy efficiency. Switzerland will match the EU with its own “better tires” safety campaign next week, and the auto industry in Switzerland is working with federal authorities to introduce the EU labels.
Like car and electronic energy use labels, tires will be categorized from A to G.
The top priority for tires clearly remains safety, but tires are responsible for 20 percent of a car’s petrol consumption because of their resistance to the road surface, the Swiss Highway Office points out. Encouraging consumers to use tires with reduced resistance is part of efforts to cut fuel consumption and improve CO2 emission levels. For the consumer there is also a cost factor: better tires, over 15,000 km, will use up to 60 litres less fuel.
The main culprit for noise pollution in Switzerland is road traffic, with the cost to health and lower real estate values estimated at CHF1 billion a year, according to the highway department.
Winter tires not obligatory in Switzerland, but they are a good idea
The Swiss Safety Council bfu says that while winter tires are not obligatory in Switzerland, it’s wise to have them for a number of reasons. Once temperature falls to 7C, summr tires don’t offer the best grip. If a vehicle causes an accident because it doesn’t have adequate tires for road conditions, the insurance company may pay out less or even refuse to pay. And if a driver blocks traffic because he or she doesn’t have tires that are suitable the police may slap a fine for not respecting traffic rules.
Germany and Austria both require winter tires starting 1 November and Italy requires them at times, depending on road conditions.