Reykjavík City Council has been repeatedly trying to ban the use of studded tires within city limits, to no avail, Fréttablaðið reports.
In order to do so, the city needs approval from the national government, but have not yet been granted it. This is very often the case when the city wants to establish or law or regulation within the city that needs to be in harmony with national law. As studded tires are not banned nationally, Reykjavík has to be granted an official exception, which has as yet not been granted.
The primary reason why Reykjavík wants to ban studded tires is pollution. These tires are meant for driving on snow on ice. While they can be useful for driving in the countryside, Reykjavík’s major traffic arteries seldom, if ever, ice over, negating the necessity for the tires in the city.
As a result, the studs generate a considerable amount of particle air pollution from the road material they kick up. A recent study estimated that studded tire use needs to be reduced to at least 15% in order to have a positive effect on lowering particle air pollution in the city.
As it stands now, the use of studded tires is strictly limited to specific seasons. Using such tires outside of the season can carry fines of up to 20,000 ISK.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!