null New Road Traffic Act to be supplemented

New Road Traffic Act to be supplemented

Press release 18.12.2020 08.45 fi sv en

Snowmobiles on ice in Lapland (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Government proposes that the President of the Republic approve amendments to the new Road Traffic Act. Some of the amendments are technical in nature and some concern snowmobile driving. The new Road Traffic Act entered into force on 1 June 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Parliament postponed the discussion on some matters to be included in the Road Traffic Act from spring this year to this autumn. These are, for example, the inclusion of the provisions on the reform of the agencies in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the Road Traffic Act as well as the inclusion of the provisions on the use of heavy snowmobiles.  The approved amendments will enter into force on 11 January 2021.

Parliament also changed the contents of the traffic sign (D8) indicating a snowmobile route so that the sign remains in force only during snow cover. While the sign is in force, it is forbidden to cycle or use a vehicle pulled by an animal on a snowmobile route. In the summer, the standard rules and principles for off-road use apply on these routes.

Parliament included in the Act a transitional provision that allows a child under seven years to use a downhill skiing helmet instead of an approved protective helmet when they are passengers in a snowmobile. The provision will remain in force until 1 June 2021. The transitional period provides flexibility for acquiring type approved protective helmets for children within a reasonable time.

The Road Traffic Act was supplemented in the spring, too, when the provisions on parking concessions for home care workers and on HCT vehicles were included in the Act. They entered into force at the same time as the new Road Traffic Act.

Next steps

On 17 December 2020, the Government proposed that the supplements to the Road Traffic Act be approved. The Act is due to enter into force on 11 January 2021.

Information on the new Road Traffic Act is available on the website of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom at www.tieliikennelaki2020.fi.

Inquiries:

Kimmo Kiiski, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 539 5346