STA, 15 November - Vehicles driving in Slovenia need to be equipped with winter gear from Thursday until 15 March under Slovenia's traffic safety law, a rule that kicks in just as the country prepares for the first shipment of snow.
The required gear consists primarily of winter tyres, in the absence of which drivers must carry snow chains in the vehicle.
Drivers who have neither winter tyres nor chains face a fine of EUR 40, which grows to EUR 500 plus penalty points if they cause delays for other drivers by getting stuck in snow.
Drivers must also ensure that they clear their vehicles of snow and ice before hitting the road.
Winter in Slovenia due to arrive next week
While the weather has been surprisingly balmy until early November, it has been getting colder in recent days and temperatures are expected to drop to just above freezing next week.
Meteorologists forecast that low-lying regions can expect first snow as early as Tuesday, though snow quantities will be moderate.
Slovenia's winter services said they were fully ready for the winter.
More than a thousand workers operating 427 snow ploughs, more than 200 gritters and hundreds of other winter service vehicles are ready for deployment on 6,000 kilometres of regional roads, the Roads Directorate has said.
DARS, the national motorway company, has around over 300 winter service vehicles and 500 workers ready to keep the motorways passable in the winter months.