Driving Guide

【Pay Attention to Traffic Regulations】Winter road traffic regulations that you should know

  • Q1
    What is "Winter Tires Restriction"?
    You cannot drive on the expressway if you are not using winter tires or chains!

    To ensure safe winter driving on expressways, the winter tires restriction only allows vehicles fitted with winter tires (stud-less tires, etc.) or tire chains that prevent slipping to be driven on the expressway. When it is restricted to winter tires, even four-wheel drive vehicles cannot drive without winter tires or tire chains.

    Other Traffic Restrictions on Roads in Winter

    On expressways in winter, the following traffic restrictions may also be imposed.

    Speed Regulations

    Due to the poor road conditions or visibility, driving speeds may be restricted to 50-80km/h. When snow & ice service vehicles are driving at low speed (approx. 40-50km/h) to remove snow etc., speed will be restricted for safety. "Caution Slow Speed Work in Progress" will be displayed on the road information signboards.

    Tire Chains Required for All Vehicles Restriction

    When snow is especially deep or road surface conditions deteriorate, the "Tire Chains Required for All Vehicles Restriction" may be imposed as an emergency measure. You must use tire chains to drive even if you have fitted winter tires.

    Road Closures

    If it is determined that there is a problem with driving due to heavy snow or other factors, the highway may be closed.

    ★ Hint from NEXCO Central Nippon!

    Please cooperate with chain checks

    NEXCO Central Nippon may check the installation status of your winter tires (stud-less tires) and tire chains for your safety at interchanges or service areas just before mountainous regions during heavy snow. Please follow the guidance from signs and local staff for chain checks. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Q2
    What if the Winter Tires Regulation starts while driving on an expressway?
    Calmly check the details of the restriction and move to an SA or PA nearby if you need to install!

    Depending on changes in weather and snow conditions, traffic restrictions may start while you are driving on the expressway. In that case, do not rush and drive carefully according to the regulations.

    If you do not have Equipment and Tires that Prevent Slipping

    If you do not have the equipment specified in the restrictions such as winter tires or tire chains, you need to get off at the nearest interchange. If you are carrying tire chains, you can fit them at the nearest service or parking area, not on a shoulder of road, and continue driving.

    ★ Hint from NEXCO Central Nippon!

    Check for areas to attach or detach chains

    Within the region of NEXCO Central Nippon, there are areas to fit and remove chains in various locations. Please check the locations of these areas and use them when the Winter Tires Restriction is applied.
    Tire chains can be torn apart if you use them for too long so frequent fitting and removal is required before and after long tunnels or sections with continual tunnels.

  • Q3
    Is it ok if there are currently no traffic regulations?
    You should collect information useful for safe driving frequently!

    Winter road conditions can change rapidly depending on the weather, such as wind and temperature. It is important to frequently check the weather and road conditions to your destination using various methods.

    ★ Hint from NEXCO Central Nippon!

    Introducing Information Tools Useful When Driving on Expressways

    Information Boards

    • Interchange Information Boards: Located before interchanges they displays traffic information for upcoming sections.
    • Wide Area Information Boards: Located before junctions or places where weather may suddenly change they show traffic information for a wide area up to about 200km ahead.
    • Tollgate Information Boards: Located at the entrance to tollgates they show traffic information for the main roadways.
    • Entry Information Boards: Located on local roads before expressway entrances they show traffic information for the main roadways.

    Highway Radio

    You can listen to traffic information broadcast on AM radio (1620kHz). Information is updated every 5 minutes and you can obtain more information for a wider area than from information boards.

    Highway Radio

    You can listen to traffic information broadcast on AM radio (1620kHz). Information is updated every 5 minutes and you can obtain more information for a wider area than from information boards.

    Live Cameras

    You can check the images from live cameras installed around the expressways at service and parking areas. Please use these live cameras to consider safe drive plans by watching to check snow conditions along your proposed route.

    iHighway Central Nippon

    The NEXCO Central Nippon website provides expressway information 24 hours a day. You can use PCs, as well as smartphones and mobile phones to collect information.
    * You will be punished by law if you operate mobile phones, etc. while driving. Please always stop at a service area or other safe place for the driver to use.