WHEEL CHAINS - Victorian Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020

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WHEEL CHAINS - Victorian Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020

Quote - "On 27 July 2020, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) to facilitate public consultation on the proposed Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 (the proposed Regulations). The public submission period closed on 24 August 2020."
"DELWP (only) received 8 submissions on the proposed Regulations and the RIS.
"Following detailed consideration of each submission received in response to the RIS, a small number of changes will be made to the proposed Regulations."


a) Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)
https://www.vic.gov.au/sites/defaul...-Resorts-Management-Regulations-2020-RIS.docx

b) Statement of Reasons
https://www.forestsandreserves.vic....lpine-Resorts-Management-Regulations-2020.pdf

c) Victorian Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020

https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/20-128sra001 authorised.pdf

______________________________________________________________________________________
a) Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)


Alpine Resorts RIS of July 2020
https://www.vic.gov.au/sites/defaul...-Resorts-Management-Regulations-2020-RIS.docx

"The proposed Regulations simplify and modernise the current Regulations. The structure of the regulations has been altered to ensure consistency with the Act reflecting modern drafting practices.”
"The proposed Regulations incorporate a number of other changes."

Extract from Page 5

· Wheel chain provisions have been amended to align with forthcoming amendments to the Road Safety Road Rules 2017.
[1] These have been updated following consultation with VicRoads


[1] The Road Safety Rules are anticipated to be amended soon in relation to wheel chains. Once this amendment occurs, the use of wheel chains will be managed entirely under the Road Safety Rules, and the parts of the proposed Regulations that require the use of wheel chains will have no further practical effect. Authorised officers of the Boards will still have the power to ask individuals in the resorts to leave if they fail to produce wheel chains or have them properly fitted.



Extract from Page 17-18

Road safety risks

Roads in alpine areas can become very dangerous in wet or icy weather conditions, significantly increasing the risk of vehicle accidents resulting in personal injury, death or damage to vehicles and other property.

The current regulations require that wheel chains (sometimes referred to as ‘snow chains’) must be carried by all vehicles entering the resorts during the snow season, except when Boards determine otherwise. At the direction of an authorised officer, wheel chains must be properly fitted to the drive wheels of vehicles, usually in poor weather conditions.
Similar requirements to carry wheel chains throughout the winter season and fit them where directed exist at alpine resorts in New South Wales (except for 4WD vehicles) and New Zealand. At northern hemisphere alpine resorts, such as in Canada and the USA, winter tyres are normally fitted to vehicles throughout winter in preference to fitting wheel chains.

An important general principle of safety management is that the on-site operator (in this case the Boards) should be responsible for assessing and minimising risks to public safety, rather than a regulator. In accordance with this principle, there is an expectation that the Boards exercise their waiver powers reasonably and responsibly and in strict accordance with internal policies and procedures. These responsibilities include real time assessments of the latest road and weather conditions as to whether wheel chains should be carried by all vehicles, or whether by only 2WD and not 4WD vehicles.

As there is no other legislation dealing with wheel chains in alpine resorts, there is a clear need for similar regulations to be remade in the interests of public safety and wellbeing. It is intended that forthcoming amendments to the Road Safety Rules by VicRoads will take over regulatory control on the use of wheel chains, however there may be a small window of time until those amendments commence. Hence, there is a short-term need to continue to ensure that the Regulations deal with the risk of damage to vehicles and people in vehicles if the vehicles cannot be sufficiently controlled in snow conditions.



Extract from Page 31

What has changed in the proposed Regulations?

· Wheel chain provisions have been amended to align with forthcoming amendments to the Road Safety Road Rules 2017.
[1] These have been updated following consultation with VicRoads


[1] The Road Safety Rules are anticipated to be amended soon in relation to wheel chains. Once this amendment occurs, the use of wheel chains will be managed entirely under the Road Safety Rules, and the parts of the proposed Regulations that require the use of wheel chains will have no further effect. Authorised officers of the Boards will still have the power to ask individuals in the resorts to leave if they fail to produce wheel chains or have them properly fitted.



Page 41






___________________________________________________________

b) Statement of Reasons


https://www.forestsandreserves.vic....lpine-Resorts-Management-Regulations-2020.pdf

Division 2— Wheel chains in alpine resorts 24

Definitions in this Division

snow tyre
was
a tyre that is specifically designed for driving on roads affected by snow or ice

now
a tyre whose tread pattern, tread compound and structure is specifically designed to achieve better performance,
on a road affected by snow or ice, than that of a normal tyre with regard to its ability to initiate, maintain or stop vehicle motion

wheel chains was
devices made up of chains in a diamond pattern that are designed to be fitted to wheels of a vehicle
to increase the traction of the wheels on a road affected by snow or ice.

now
devices made up of chains in a diamond pattern that are designed to be fitted to wheels of a vehicle
to increase directional stability and traction of the wheels of that vehicle on a road affected by snow or ice.’



22. Concerns about wheel chains

Suggested replacement definition:
‘wheel chains' means devices made up of chains in a diamond pattern that are designed to be fitted to wheels of a vehicle to increase the traction of these wheels on a road affected by snow or ice and comply with the performance criteria specified in the Austrian Standard ONORM V5117 - Snow chains for vehicles up 3.5 tonnes and Austrian Standard ONORM V5119 – Snow chains for heavier vehicles.

Definition of ‘wheel chains’ amended to ‘devices made up of chains in a diamond pattern that are designed to be fitted to wheels of a vehicle to increase directional stability and traction of the wheels of that vehicle on a road affected by snow or ice.’


23. Concerns about snow tyres

Suggested replacement definition: ‘Winter tyre' means a tyre whose tread pattern, tread compound and structure are specifically designed to achieve on a road affected by snow or ice a performance better than that of a normal tyre with regard to its ability to initiate, maintain or stop vehicle motion. The snow grip performance shall be tested in accordance with Annex 7 to UNECE Regulation No 117.

Definition of ‘snow tyre’ amended to ‘a tyre whose tread pattern, tread compound and structure is specifically designed to achieve better performance, on a road affected by snow or ice, than that of a normal tyre with regard to its ability to initiate, maintain or stop vehicle motion’.

___________________________________________________

c) Regulation
https://content.legislation.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/20-128sra001 authorised.pdf
 

Every2years

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WHEEL CHAINS - Victorian Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020

Quote - "On 27 July 2020, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) to facilitate public consultation on the proposed Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 (the proposed Regulations). The public submission period closed on 24 August 2020."
"DELWP (only) received 8 submissions on the proposed Regulations and the RIS.
"Following detailed consideration of each submission received in response to the RIS, a small number of changes will be made to the proposed Regulations."
Seems the public consultation was not known about widely. I certainly didn't see anyone attempt to promote people who use these forums to make a submission but I may have missed it. It is disappointing that those who knew about this didn't see fit to promote it amongst this community.

Similar requirements to carry wheel chains throughout the winter season and fit them where directed exist at alpine resorts in New South Wales (except for 4WD vehicles) and New Zealand. At northern hemisphere alpine resorts, such as in Canada and the USA, winter tyres are normally fitted to vehicles throughout winter in preference to fitting wheel chains.
Question: Do any of these jurisdictions prohibit spider chains or is that only Victoria?
Good regulation is based on evidence which is often submitted in the course of properly conducted public consultation. How many accidents in Victoria have occurred as a result of poorly fitted spider chains and what proportion of the total accidents does that comprise? Where there is not clear evidence that a product is of such risk high risk to public safety that it should be banned then other factors such as what are the available alternatives would normally be considered. In the case of old school ladder chains there is a clear alternative which is a direct substitute; the diamond chain. A car that can fit ladders can fit diamonds, no question about it and diamonds are safer than ladders as they provide constant contact of the chain with the road. There is no significant impost to banning old school ladders and it makes perfect sense. Spider chains though are used by people who can not fit traditional ladder/diamond chains. There is no direct alternative in the way there is for old school ladders. The question then is what risk do the spider chains actually pose? They provide constant chain contact with the road thereby achieving the same functional outcome as a diamond chain and avoiding the limitation of old school ladder chains. It has been argued that spiders are prone to user error. That is true but all products are prone to user error; even the 'gold standard' diamond chain. Where is the objective evidence (not opinion, not speculation, not anecdote or n=1 studies) that spider chain user errors are leading to accidents? If there is not good evidence from the local experience then you look to experience in other jurisdictions to see if they also consider this product to be an unacceptable risk. Which brings us back to the question, do other jurisdictions ban spider chains?

As there is no other legislation dealing with wheel chains in alpine resorts, there is a clear need for similar regulations to be remade in the interests of public safety and wellbeing.
......?
 
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Every2years

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In fairness though, whether you are agree with the decision or not, publicising it here is a good thing. There may be those who have safely used spider chains for years who may not have been aware that these are now banned Victoria wide and would have quite easily just headed up their chosen mountain without giving it a second thought. You'd hate for these people to get a fine.

I personally think it might have been good for the resorts to have include a warning about this at the time that people purchased season entry permits for example.
 
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crackson

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Come to nsw. We have simple chain laws and better resorts.

If victoria can't be clear with regs and admin, why reward them with your money?
 
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snow drive solutions

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Appreciate your comments E2Y :)

In response to your post:- "Seems the public consultation was not known about widely. I certainly didn't see anyone attempt to promote people who use these forums to make a submission but I may have missed it. It is disappointing that those who knew about this didn't see fit to promote it amongst this community."
Let me add the following........
a) The Notice of Preparation of Regulatory Impact Statement Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 was advertised on page 33 in The Age of July 27th 2020. Not sure if it was also in the Herald Sun on the same day.
b) There were 240 views of this thread on ski.com.au of July 27th 2020, (no replies posted by forum members)
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/n...ne-resorts-management-regulations-2020.88109/
c) DELWP received only 8 submissions on the proposed Regulations and the RIS.
d) No submissions that related to spider chains contained in the DELWP Statement of Reasons
e) No submissions that related to ladder chains contained in the DELWP Statement of Reasons
 

fenrir

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Is this going to have any practical effect? If I drive up to a Victorian resort in my 4wd with 3pmsf tyres fitted will I still have to pull over and fit diamond chains for the last 15km of my drive after a light dusting of snow?
 

Every2years

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Appreciate your comments E2Y :)

In response to your post:- "Seems the public consultation was not known about widely. I certainly didn't see anyone attempt to promote people who use these forums to make a submission but I may have missed it. It is disappointing that those who knew about this didn't see fit to promote it amongst this community."
Let me add the following........
a) The Notice of Preparation of Regulatory Impact Statement Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 was advertised on page 33 in The Age of July 27th 2020. Not sure if it was also in the Herald Sun on the same day.
b) There were 240 views of this thread on ski.com.au of July 27th 2020, (no replies posted by forum members)
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/n...ne-resorts-management-regulations-2020.88109/
c) DELWP received only 8 submissions on the proposed Regulations and the RIS.
d) No submissions that related to spider chains contained in the DELWP Statement of Reasons
e) No submissions that related to ladder chains contained in the DELWP Statement of Reasons
Fair enough, but the title hardly screams chains - from what I have observed here chain threads always get traction (pun intended). As someone who just uses commercial accommodation I don't have a great deal of interest in general resort management - I don't have a reason to have an opinion. Chains on the other had apply to all who drive up the mountain.

If there are no specific references to spider chains how then is it that they came to be banned? On what evidence was this regulation made or was it an evidence-free decision?
 

snow drive solutions

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"Fair enough, but the title hardly screams chains"
(c) covers it pretty well = (c) "regulating the use, driving and parking of vehicles in alpine resorts"

Who was consulted?

The Department has engaged with the following stakeholders during the development of the proposed Regulations:

Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council

Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board (ARMB)

Mount Buller and Mount Stirling ARMB

Mount Hotham ARMB (may well have taken the spider chain determination from MTH ARMB)

Southern Alpine Resort ARMB

Parks Victoria

VicRoads

Victoria Police

Resort Businesses

Tour Operators

Skiers and other resort visitors

Department of Justice and Community Safety
 
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snow drive solutions

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In fairness though, whether you are agree with the decision or not, publicising it here is a good thing. There may be those who have safely used spider chains for years who may not have been aware that these are now banned Victoria wide and would have quite easily just headed up their chosen mountain without giving it a second thought. You'd hate for these people to get a fine.

I personally think it might have been good for the resorts to have include a warning about this at the time that people purchased season entry permits for example.


Falls Creek refers to Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 in their Resort Entry Terms & Conditions, not sure if the other Victorian resorts do this.



Falls Creek
GENERAL RESORT ENTRY PERMIT 2021

https://www.fallscreek.com.au/termsconditions/

Collapse
Important Conditions of Purchase
These terms and conditions of purchase apply to permits purchased for general resort entry to the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Crown Land Reserve online (Resort). A general resort permit (Permit) can be purchased for 1 day or up to 9 days' entry to the Resort.

………14) At all times while in the Resort, the Permit Holder must comply with:
  • the Alpine Responsibility Code which is available at www.fallscreek.com.au/AlpineResponsibilityCode;
  • the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997 and associated regulations;
  • Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020;
  • any directive made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic); and
  • all signs (including during hours of darkness) or other directions of the Supplier or any of its employees and agents.
 

Aractus

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What's your point?

Other than presenting yourself as an expert looking for free advertising on the site.

Exactly. The hoop ladder chains are not as bad as people say, yes I've seen them being driven on as loose as anything, yes I've seen them fall off when not done up correctly. I can get mine on and fully tensioned without needing to drive forward and re-tension.

@snow drive solutions If people can get connecting hoop chains wrong, just imagine how much worse it is for the other more complicated styles. A couple of weeks ago I saw a car with the V2 traction style chain (the one with two springs on each chain) done up incorrectly with half of the inner hoop on the tyre tread and both springs on the tyre tread as well. On both sides. Looked like the chain was way too small for the car. It was parked at the front of Perisher and very obvious, honestly NPWS should have written them a fine for that.

If the regulations should be hitting anything it's the retail and hire they should hit. I see people describing the Autotechnica chains from Repco as “heavy duty” - they'll do the job, but they're not heavy duty and certainly not worth what Repco charge. Aldi sold the same chain re-branded for $40, and they no longer sell them but Repco does (well in a newer design). Put the approved chains at the point of sale, and just let people use whatever existing chains they have until they wear out (which they invariably do).
 

Every2years

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Falls Creek refers to Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020 in their Resort Entry Terms & Conditions, not sure if the other Victorian resorts do this.



Falls Creek
GENERAL RESORT ENTRY PERMIT 2021
https://www.fallscreek.com.au/termsconditions/

Collapse
Important Conditions of Purchase

These terms and conditions of purchase apply to permits purchased for general resort entry to the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Crown Land Reserve online (Resort). A general resort permit (Permit) can be purchased for 1 day or up to 9 days' entry to the Resort.

………14) At all times while in the Resort, the Permit Holder must comply with:
  • the Alpine Responsibility Code which is available at www.fallscreek.com.au/AlpineResponsibilityCode;
  • the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997 and associated regulations;
  • Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2020;
  • any directive made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic); and
  • all signs (including during hours of darkness) or other directions of the Supplier or any of its employees and agents.
Sure, factually correct :rolleyes:

Hardly what I would consider actively promoting that there was a change that could have a significant impact on some of their customers (and customers who have decided to purchase spider chains I would assume more likely to be repeat customers).

there is a clear need for similar regulations to be remade in the interests of public safety and wellbeing
If there is such a clear need in the interest of public safety and wellbeing then surely this would warrant a public awareness campaign

The clauses hardly scream please be aware that the spider chains that you have safely used to access the resort for years, and which you have almost certainly purchased because there is not a direct readily accessible alternative available for your circumstance are now banned (new rims and tyres are not a readily accessible solution - at minimum it requires planning well ahead of travel). The resorts failing to promote this does nothing to help avoid the situation that a likely repeat customer turns up and either gets stuck at the bottom of the mountain scrambling for a solution to get up the hill (albeit with their perfectly functional solution sitting right in their car) or goes up the hill still oblivious and then gets a fine (or worse if spider chains are as dangerous as you continually assert causes an accident endangering public safety"). Bad outcome either way; the chances of which could be reduced if the resorts did a little bit of community service to proactively advise that there has been a change. If this really is in the interest of public safety and wellbeing then you might even say the resorts have a moral obligation to promote this widely.
 

snow drive solutions

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Mt Buller offer this advice on the SNOW CHAINS in two sections of their website.

______________________________________________________________________
"a number of cars are unable to fit chains in accordance with their user manual, plus some tyre sizes may be inappropriate for snow chains (wide and/or low profile tyres are often difficult to fit).
  • Please check your vehicle manufacturers guidelines before hiring chains (or purchasing chains)
  • To ensure rental shops have the suitable chain size for your tyres it is always best to call ahead and check availability.
  • Alternative transport options to the resort are also available.”
  • ______________________________________________________________________
Hopefully all the other resorts will include this advice on their websites in the future.

It would be helpful to know what the 'vehicle manufacturers guidelines' are detailed in the user manual for the vehicle that Every2years purchased spider chains for.



______________________________________________________________________
https://www.mtbuller.com.au/Winter/plan-your-visit/getting-here/driving

All vehicles staying accessing the Mt Buller Village or staying overnight in the resort MUST carry wheel chains by law.
NOTE - a number of cars are unable to fit chains in accordance with their user manual, plus some tyre sizes may be inappropriate for snow chains (wide and/or low profile tyres are often difficult to fit).
  • Please check your vehicle manufacturers guidelines before (purchasing) or hiring chains.
  • To ensure rental shops have the suitable chain size for your tyres it is always best to call ahead and check availability.
  • Alternative transport options to the resort are also available.
  • Trailers cannot be towed behind vehicles when the road conditions require wheel chains to be fitted.
  • ______________________________________________________________________
https://www.mtbuller.com.au/Winter/snow-weather/snow-report/wheel-chain-declaration

19.07.2021
Requirements For Carrying Wheel ChainsStatus
2WDYes
4WD/AWDYes
All Overnight VehiclesYes

WINTER​

Mt Buller's wheel chain requirements are decided on a daily basis and are determined by weather forecasts and existing road conditions. Chain requirements may vary between 2WD and 4WD/AWD vehicles, as each of these types of cars react differently to snow and icy road conditions.
A small number cars can not fit chains in accordance with the vehicle’s user manual. Please check your manufacturers guidelines before hiring chains. Alternative transport options to the resort are available.
 

Xplora

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What I have noted in the definitions is the removal of the Australian Standard for wheel chains in the definition and the testing criteria for snow tyres. You can view a summary of the submissions here https://www.forestsandreserves.vic....lpine-Resorts-Management-Regulations-2020.pdf
with comment also about each point. There is no way Vic would remove the need for 4wd/AWD to carry chains, even with snow tyres. The resort approaches are different to NSW and yet I have still seen photos of 4wd's in NSW rolled over in snowy conditions. Possibly more the driver but legislation like this is made for the lowest common denominator. There may be provision for people in an AWD/4wd fitted with four suitable tyres to not fit chains if others are directed to. Signage will have to indicate that and it is an operator onus offence. Meaning the driver is responsible. The problem is the lack of standard that will be applied to these tyres.

Putting all this it into the Road Safety Rules may be a good thing. It is not just resorts that have needed to regulate this. Parks Victoria authorised officers are unable to direct people driving on Mount Buffalo road to fit or carry chains as it is not part of the park. Not sure if the new regulations will help so we just have to wait and see.
 

teckel

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"a number of cars are unable to fit chains in accordance with their user manual, plus some tyre sizes may be inappropriate for snow chains (wide and/or low profile tyres are often difficult to fit).
  • Please check your vehicle manufacturers guidelines before hiring chains (or purchasing chains)
  • To ensure rental shops have the suitable chain size for your tyres it is always best to call ahead and check availability.
  • Alternative transport options to the resort are also available.”
  • ______________________________________________________________________
Hopefully all the other resorts will include this advice on their websites in the future.
That would explain why I'm getting all these bloody waste of time phone calls asking if I hire chains for bog standard tyres. And asking me to put size 97 or 245 or whatever aside for them. WTF? Order them online.
 
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