When I had my faithful old Cherockee Jeep no Policeman, be him local or not, ever stopped me.
I was mounting mud and snow tyres the year round.
Plus, durnig winterseason, had on board at least one set of snow chains (this I'm doing it even now with my 2wd car, don't have snow tryes for it, though).
lso, the plate was indicating as origin a town up in the mountain (see below)...
They always waved me through, without even bothering to check my equipment. Never got stuck, always drove carefully.
Plus my Jeep did not look flashy and new as the 4wd of a non-local guy coming out of the big town could have looked; for a time in Italy the license plates did not show the origin, as a consequence even now, even if a car carries a license plate saying that it's from Milan or Rome, no one can be reasonably sure it is really so.
This said, every car heading for the mountains (there usually will be a sign on the side of the road indicating that from that point on the chains are compulsory and the use of it might be necessary) must carry on board one set of snow chains. If inspected and found faulty, the offender will be fined and sent back.
The problem is not this, the proble is that there aren't enough officer to enforce this in a reasonable way, so we are left to our best judgement as to when/how to comply. A reasonable person will comply; and unreasonable one, well, will get stuck, will cause traffic jams because will choose the wrong place/time where to stop to put on the snow chains, etc.
[ December 31, 2003, 05:15 AM: Message edited by: Matteo ]