What you need to know about Colorado’s new winter traction law
This winter, the Colorado Department of Transportation is implementing a new traction law. With winter weather picking up, is your vehicle ready?
The law is aimed at I-70 traffic but applies to all highways and runs Sept. 1 to May 31 each year.
CDOT will implement the traction law or Code 15 when road conditions require it. All motorists must have snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M+S) designation or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle.
All tires must have a minimum 1/8 inch tread, which you can check using a quarter. Insert a quarter into the tire tread upside down and if you can see the top of George’s head, your tires do not meet the 1/8-inch requirement.
CDOT will implement the passenger vehicle chain law or Code 16 during severe winter storms. This is the final safety measure before the highway is closed, according to CDOT.
During times when this law is implemented, all vehicles must have chains or an alternate traction device like AutoSock.
Drivers with inadequate equipment when these laws are implemented can be fined more than $130. Motorists who block the roadway because of inadequate tires or traction devices when these laws are in place could be fined more that $650.
At 60 mph on snowy pavement, winter tires require 310 feet to stop. All season tires require more than double that: 668 feet.
According to CDOT, in 2014 unprepared motorists caused one of the worst traffic delays on I-70. Of the 22 vehicles that spun out, causing crashes and delays, 19 vehicles had worn tires. Traffic accidents, not volume, cause up to 60% of all traffic delays.
CDOT has partnered with tire companies across the state to offer discounts on new tires. To find a tire company with deals near you, visit winter.codot.gov/tires.
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