2018 Snow chain information & rules for NSW & Victoria

Astro66

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Common sense. You should do that regardless.
The amount of extra gap is determined, by the amount of braking you have.

If you have no idea how much your braking has been reduced. Then it's a pure guess.

It takes 2 seconds to slow down on a flat or uphill, then check your braking performance, at low speed. In bad conditions, I recommend everyone do it, then leave spacing appropriate to the amount of braking you have.

To me. This is common sense
If your vehicle is sliding on the road when you apply the brakes then I would assume this is what you meant when you said there was a time you had no brake force. Once a vehicle is sliding in this manner then you also do not have steering.Slowing a vehicle with gears can also lock the wheels and cause you to slide.
Most cars at the snow fields would have ABS. When you brake check in extremely low traction. The brake pistons clap in and out. But the car doesn't slow.

I have encountered this once only in Montana. There was freezing rain, then it got very cold. I was driving on a flat road at about 40kph when the lights changed. I applied the brakes about 30m before the intersection, and the car wouldn't slow. I sailed through the intersection and stopped about 20m after it.

Had I known, conditions were that treacherous, I would have slowed for every traffic lights. Finding out, after the fact, is not the best practice.

This is why, in bad conditions, you should check your braking ability.
 

Xplora

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It is heavily policed if the motorcycle GP at Phillip Island occurs before the official end of the snow season, even if it's end of September and the GAR is clear and dry.
I am wondering if the resorts declare no chains when the GP is on and the roads are clear. I know the chain hire places do not tell people if resorts have declared such a day. I am researching the chain thing a bit further and have put the question to the authorities. Going from Omeo to Dinner Plain should not require chains to be carried unless you proceed to the resort boundary at Hotham. I cannot find any infringement listing for the offence outside the Resort Management Act.
 

Xplora

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The amount of extra gap is determined, by the amount of braking you have.

If you have no idea how much your braking has been reduced. Then it's a pure guess.

It takes 2 seconds to slow down on a flat or uphill, then check your braking performance, at low speed. In bad conditions, I recommend everyone do it, then leave spacing appropriate to the amount of braking you have.

To me. This is common sense
Most cars at the snow fields would have ABS. When you brake check in extremely low traction. The brake pistons clap in and out. But the car doesn't slow.

I have encountered this once only in Montana. There was freezing rain, then it got very cold. I was driving on a flat road at about 40kph when the lights changed. I applied the brakes about 30m before the intersection, and the car wouldn't slow. I sailed through the intersection and stopped about 20m after it.

Had I known, conditions were that treacherous, I would have slowed for every traffic lights. Finding out, after the fact, is not the best practice.

This is why, in bad conditions, you should check your braking ability.

I'm sorry, my meaning is obviously not clear and I do not want to take away from your experience. Your stopping ability in Montana is pure physics but that changes constantly so you cannot check for every condition otherwise people behind you will get very annoyed. Drive like it is the worst conditions. It is also an assumption most vehicles have ABS at the resorts. Maybe that is because skiing is so expensive in Australia and resorts rip you off that only those who can afford a modern vehicle are allowed to enter. ABS stops wheels locking permanently by locking and unlocking constantly and it was a system developed by Mercedes and GIVEN free to all the other companies who in turn charge it out as an optional extra for some vehicles. If your wheels are turning they you have some steering ability. Assisted Brake Steering is what it is called. ABS reduces your overall brake efficiency and you will in fact stop sooner if you keep your wheels at that point just before lock up and you will still have turn. I have done all these tests on closed tracks and skid pans. It is not a skill many have these days. Your mistake in Montana was due to inexperience but it is good no harm came from it.
 
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currawong

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I am wondering if the resorts declare no chains when the GP is on and the roads are clear. I know the chain hire places do not tell people if resorts have declared such a day. I am researching the chain thing a bit further and have put the question to the authorities. Going from Omeo to Dinner Plain should not require chains to be carried unless you proceed to the resort boundary at Hotham. I cannot find any infringement listing for the offence outside the Resort Management Act.
They put up big roadside signs in the valleys telling motorcyclists they can't go to over Hotham. the state of the road does not seem to influence this. It seems to be strictly tied to snow season.
 

Xplora

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It seems to be strictly tied to snow season.
That is how things are supposed to work as the regs must have regard to weather and road conditions if a no chain day is declared. This is only for day visitors or those travelling through and is on a day to day basis so overnighters must have chains No bikers can stay overnight at Hotham it would seem if travelling to the GP and do not have to carry chains. I have a couple of trips coming up to Dinner Plain with visitors so it will be interesting to see if chains are in fact required from Omeo. I have them for the real 4wd but hire for the SUV. Will decide on the day which vehicle to take but the SUV is actually more predicable in snow than the ute. I usually put a couple of timber rounds in the back of the ute for some weight.
 

currawong

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That is how things are supposed to work as the regs must have regard to weather and road conditions if a no chain day is declared. This is only for day visitors or those travelling through and is on a day to day basis so overnighters must have chains No bikers can stay overnight at Hotham it would seem if travelling to the GP and do not have to carry chains. I have a couple of trips coming up to Dinner Plain with visitors so it will be interesting to see if chains are in fact required from Omeo. I have them for the real 4wd but hire for the SUV. Will decide on the day which vehicle to take but the SUV is actually more predicable in snow than the ute. I usually put a couple of timber rounds in the back of the ute for some weight.
I'm wondering if the legislation is to cater for Lake Mountain (and Mt Buffalo if it is included) with no intention by Falls, Hotham and Buller to ever use the provision.
If your reading is correct then you may well be technically allowed to drive to DP without chains, but good luck with Mr Plod if he is checking.
 

Xplora

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but good luck with Mr Plod if he is checking.
It is pretty easy to check and I have some contacts. All the offence codes are recorded and they refer to the relevant section or Act. If Police are issuing infringements unlawfully then it will be discovered. VicRoads also has a handle on it but they are slower to respond. I could be wrong and have overlooked some vital legislation so not ready to call it as yet but will when I am sure. I noticed a couple of people have commented in a similar vein recently on the Vic Police FB page. This could be a game changer as it would mean no chains to Howmans and up to every other resort boundary. So many people will go up to Dinner Plain from Omeo and no further. DP website states they must have chains or risk a fine. DP is not covered by the Resort Management Act but I have to admit that it would be wise to carry (and use) chains at times in DP. If in fact there is a defect in the legislation then it may need to be addressed but until then some could benefit from not hiring chains or not having to pay a fine because you are outside the resorts.

On other matters regarding driving - be careful, very careful about not cutting corners on mountain roads, even when you think it is safe. There is a campaign on it would seem directly targeting this.
 

cqen2l

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I am wondering if the resorts declare no chains when the GP is on and the roads are clear. I know the chain hire places do not tell people if resorts have declared such a day. I am researching the chain thing a bit further and have put the question to the authorities. Going from Omeo to Dinner Plain should not require chains to be carried unless you proceed to the resort boundary at Hotham. I cannot find any infringement listing for the offence outside the Resort Management Act.
I had to fit chains before the airport last year. Risk no chains at your peril.
 

Astro66

Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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Drive like it is the worst conditions. .
So what your saying, is if there is any snow on the road, I'd need to slow to 20kph at every intersection. That is ridiculous. And would cause more accidents than it prevents. Especially if traction was good, as other cars would not be slowing down.

Determine braking ability. Determine the driving conditions. Then drive to them. It's pretty simple.
It is also an assumption most vehicles have ABS at the resorts. Maybe that is because skiing is so expensive in Australia and resorts rip you off that only those who can afford a modern vehicle are allowed to enter.
The average age of cars in Australia is 10 years. ABS has been standard on the best selling cars in Australia for more than 10 years. If you have the average Australian car. It's pretty safe bet it has ABS. No assumptions made.
 

Legs Akimbo

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It is pretty easy to check and I have some contacts. All the offence codes are recorded and they refer to the relevant section or Act. If Police are issuing infringements unlawfully then it will be discovered. VicRoads also has a handle on it but they are slower to respond. I could be wrong and have overlooked some vital legislation so not ready to call it as yet but will when I am sure. I noticed a couple of people have commented in a similar vein recently on the Vic Police FB page. This could be a game changer as it would mean no chains to Howmans and up to every other resort boundary. So many people will go up to Dinner Plain from Omeo and no further. DP website states they must have chains or risk a fine. DP is not covered by the Resort Management Act but I have to admit that it would be wise to carry (and use) chains at times in DP. If in fact there is a defect in the legislation then it may need to be addressed but until then some could benefit from not hiring chains or not having to pay a fine because you are outside the resorts.

On other matters regarding driving - be careful, very careful about not cutting corners on mountain roads, even when you think it is safe. There is a campaign on it would seem directly targeting this.
I reckon that having some idea of what is happening between the tyres and the road, however vague, is several degrees of magnitude better than having no idea.
 
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Xplora

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I had to fit chains before the airport last year. Risk no chains at your peril
It is more about whether Police have any power to issue fines outside the resort. Common sense is a different matter. There are plenty of times you can drive to DP without needing chains but if people are being told it is against the law and are being issued infringements unlawfully then that should change. Change the Road Safety Act or stop issuing fines. The Omeo Hwy gets covered in snow and there is an advisory sign which states chains should be carried. Not must. Advise people and leave it up to them to take the advice or not. There is no offence listed in the Road Safey Act or Regulations for not carry snow chains. There is no infringement code listed that I can find.

So what your saying, is if there is any snow on the road, I'd need to slow to 20kph at every intersection.
Don't put words in my mouth but you can drive at that speed if you like. You still cannot understand what I am trying to say and there is little point attempting further explanation. Go and find your 'safe' place in the resort to do your braking tests. I am sure there are many and after which you will have a much better understanding. Make sure you do your brake test in various areas as the condition of the snow and ice will be different throughout the resort. If you can stop at one point well enough then you will probably think you can stop everywhere else the same. Good luck with that. How will you determine a safe place by the way? You may be good at doing that but giving arbitrary and subjective advice about such a thing is dangerous. Some nuff nuff decides it would be good to do, skids off the road and runs over a bunch of people. There are enough stupid things happening on the roads in resorts now without encouraging more. ABS has only been mandatory in Australia since 2011. Plenty of people drive cars built before then. Some will also go to resorts but it is only a minor issue and just another assumption. I would not dwell on it, just advising people to make sure they have ABS. I wonder how many people are simply unaware of that anyway.
 
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Xplora

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Do a google search for this Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009 Regulatory Impact Statement
and then document search the words snow chains. Interesting read. 80% of crashes in snowfields were vehicles fitted with chains and points to the driver doing something stupid. Specific data for Hotham is included but it seems that of the 400 crashes in 2008 only 18 involved 4wd or AWD vehicles. The data for Hotham stacks up with data from overseas.
Having read through this more thoroughly I would say there is absolutely no statistical evidence for any change requiring AWD vehicles to be fitted with snow tyres. What I can see is there was a push by VicPol to make the change but VicRoads have knocked it on the head. If the Police could not convince VicRoads then I doubt someone selling tyres will. VicRoads is very statistically orientated. Worse than American Football.

I cannot see anything wrong with people making a personal decision regarding their own safety if they are not happy with the tyres on their cars now with regard to snow performance. Lots of people who 4wd will have a set of mudders on rims and change them for those specific times they are needed. If you can afford the initial expense then it would save money long term running road tyres on the bitumen. If the salesman convinces you of the need then he has done his job. I think Hully and others are more aggrieved that the salesman is posing here as a regular thread poster and such is not appropriate. At least one moderator/administrator does not agree. It has provided some good discussion on relevant matters.
 
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Xplora

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I am wondering if I have uncovered more 'bluff' where legislation does not support the advice and enforcement of snow chains.
Regarding Mt. Buffalo. Now this may be complicated as it refers to a number bits of legislation. I will do my best to keep it simple. The National Parks Regulations give power to the secretary to declare snow chains must be carried on roads or areas within a park during the snow season (regs 97-100) and on the face of it, it would seem the ranger has authority to enforce this for vehicles entering the park. By the way it says chains must be able to be fitted to at least 2 drive wheels so motorcycles are out. Now when you read the National Park Act (sec 48(4)(b)) it says regulations can not be made for a road that is a freeway or an arterial road (under the Road Management Act). The same NP Act (Sec 37A (5)(a)(ii) declares Mt. Buffalo Road an arterial road under the definition of the Road Management Act therefor no regulation pertaining to carrying or fitting chains can be enforced on Mt. Buffalo Road. The relevant legislation providing for offences on this road is the Road Safety Act and Regs. and no such offence exists. If you check here https://vicroadsmaps.maps.arcgis.co...ndex.html?id=e8fa54687853433eb58e51584b36f681 and locate Mt. Buffalo road it will show it is a declared arterial road for the entire length.

Nothing of what I am saying is referring to any common sense which would tell you that it is sensible to carry chains on this road. If you don't and you come to grief then I have no sympathy for you. If you get a ticket then you should investigate challenging it. This by the way does not mean you necessarily have to go to court and plead not guilty. I have prepared many defences which are submitted by way of representations where action has been taken contrary to law and no prima facie evidence is disclosed. In other words if the authority goes to court and cannot prove the offence at law (without a defence being required) then costs can be awarded. When you show the authority it does not have prima facie evidence it will often withdraw to avoid this embarrassing event. Before we get too carried away, I will wait for a response to my investigations regarding the legislation.
 
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currawong

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I am wondering if I have uncovered more 'bluff' where legislation does not support the advice and enforcement of snow chains.
Regarding Mt. Buffalo. Now this may be complicated as it refers to a number bits of legislation. I will do my best to keep it simple. The National Parks Regulations give power to the secretary to declare snow chains must be carried on roads or areas within a park during the snow season (regs 97-100) and on the face of it, it would seem the ranger has authority to enforce this for vehicles entering the park. By the way it says chains must be able to be fitted to at least 2 drive wheels so motorcycles are out. Now when you read the National Park Act (sec 48(4)(b)) it says regulations can not be made for a road that is a freeway or an arterial road (under the Road Management Act). The same NP Act (Sec 37A (5)(a)(ii) declares Mt. Buffalo Road an arterial road under the definition of the Road Management Act therefor no regulation pertaining to carrying or fitting chains can be enforced on Mt. Buffalo Road. The relevant legislation providing for offences on this road is the Road Safety Act and Regs. and no such offence exists. If you check here https://vicroadsmaps.maps.arcgis.co...ndex.html?id=e8fa54687853433eb58e51584b36f681 and locate Mt. Buffalo road it will show it is a declared arterial road for the entire length.

Nothing of what I am saying is referring to any common sense which would tell you that it is sensible to carry chains on this road. If you don't and you come to grief then I have no sympathy for you. If you get a ticket then you should investigate challenging it. This by the way does not mean you necessarily have to go to court and plead not guilty. I have prepared many defences which are submitted by way of representations where action has been taken contrary to law and no prima facie evidence is disclosed. In other words if the authority goes to court and cannot prove the offence at law (without a defence being required) then costs can be awarded. When you show the authority it does not have prima facie evidence it will often withdraw to avoid this embarrassing event. Before we get too carried away, I will wait for a response to my investigations regarding the legislation.
And then there is the insurance angle. If chains were mandated, albeit without the force of law, and you had an accident without chains, then an insurance company may try to reduce or refuse a claim
 
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CarveMan

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If you can afford the initial expense then it would save money long term running road tyres on the bitumen.

That's the interesting part for me, but it's somewhat unique to my situation. My car came with 21" rims and low profile road tyres which are quite expensive, a mate in the wheel industry found me some very cheap used 18" rims for my car, and the 18" snow tyres are actually quite a deal cheaper than the 21" road tyres. Plus I do at least 2/3 of my kms in winter, so for me personally it is actually economical to run the snow tyres. I agree that it's a personal decision for me to run these tyres, as in my situation it works on a couple of levels, I don't have all the answers but the cars in the Buller Village with tyres similar to what mine was delivered with are causing issues and forcing appropriately equipped drivers like me to be inconvenienced.
 
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Whatever really

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They also need to make it clear that fitting chains on cars when the road is dry is not a good idea,
Last couple of trips to Buller I’ve seen people fitting chains at the first and second bay then proceeding to drive at 20km/hr to the top with no snow on the road.
Don’t even start me on chains being so loose they are barely on.
 

currawong

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They also need to make it clear that fitting chains on cars when the road is dry is not a good idea,
Last couple of trips to Buller I’ve seen people fitting chains at the first and second bay then proceeding to drive at 20km/hr to the top with no snow on the road.
Don’t even start me on chains being so loose they are barely on.
except that it is the placement of chain fitting signs too early that is the main cause of chains on dry roads
 
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currawong

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I agree curra, just take the chains FFS!
agreed. chains go into the car on QBW and stay there till october. Even in summer if we go away for a few days and plan to come back over Hotham or Falls, the chains go with us just in case. Never needed them in "summer" but my worst trip over hotham was one April and we did get snowed on.

but also I take @Xplora's point about cops and other authorities trying to enforce non-laws. someone needs to take them to task when that happens. it's up to the legislators, not the police, to change the laws even if they are poorly drafted.
 

Xplora

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but also I take @Xplora's point about cops and other authorities trying to enforce non-laws. someone needs to take them to task when that happens. it's up to the legislators, not the police, to change the laws even if they are poorly drafted.
This is precisely my point. I certainly see the need for a bit more clarity in the legislation but we still have to wait until the definitive word comes in. When I worked at DP one winter I never had to fit chains once and drove there 3 or 4 times a week. By the end of the season there was almost no snow but people were still told to hire chains in September or getting a fine if they did not carry them. $30 for a day visit and a bit of snow play just to because someone got it in their head it was the law. Most of the regulars have their own chains and maybe cannot see the point of this discussion but if the legislation is flawed it should be changed.
I take the point of insurance. Like I said, if you are advised to take chains and don't but should have fitted them and come to grief then it is your fault. A bit of responsibility for your own actions does not hurt. I shot an email off to PV also to see if they can answer the question from their point of view but not as hopeful about getting any definitive answer from them.
 
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Xplora

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Here is an answer to the legality of the snow chains. If you are not carrying within the resort the fine is $645 under the Sec 55 of the Resort Management Act. If you are not carrying between the signs which have been erected to indicated you MUST carry chains, that is to say before the resorts, then the fine is $161 and the offence is 'fail to obey traffic sign'. The sign is lawful if it has been gazetted. No demerit points. In relation to Mt Buffalo. There has to be a gazetted sign erected for it to be lawful.
 
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The development and testing of snow chains was not done exclusively for them to be fitted on snow tyres.

Snow chains can be fitted either to summer tyres or to snow/winter tyres.
However snow chains are only ever tested on "snow tyres" to pass the Test Standard ON-5117

Snow chains marketed by Konig, Thule, Rud, Pewag and Weissenfels
are all manufactured to comply with (and are identified on the packaging and on the snow chain itself)
to ON-V5117 - Snow Chains for vehicle classes M1, N1, O1, O2

ON-5117 does not contain any reference to testing on ‘summer tyres’,
the only reference in ON-5117 is to M+S tyres.

This translation explains….
ON-5117 ON-V5117 - Snow Chains for vehicle classes M1, N1, O1, O2
Refer page 8, Section 5.6.1 General
"The motor vehicle for the effectiveness test must have an engine power of at least 50kW
as well as rear-wheel drive and a mechanical transmission."
"The tyres have to be new M+S tyres (3PMSF) in round shoulder construction"
 
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