Motorists can keep studded tires longer due to wintry weather

April 13, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. April 13, 2011

Motorists can keep studded tires on vehicles until April 25, because forecasts call for possible wintry driving conditions across mountain passes and in higher elevations, the state Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

If motorists fail to meet the April deadline, they could be cited by law enforcement officers.

The announcement marked the third extension for studded-tire removal. Motorists usually need to remove the tires by April 1.

“Winter is not quite over in the mountains. We have had close to 4 feet of snow in the mountains since April 1, and forecasts call for 1 to 2 feet more through the end of next week,” Chris Christopher, director of maintenance operations for the transportation department, said in a release.

Travelers in the lowlands can expect springlike weather, so people not using the mountain passes should remove studded tires now, Christopher added.

State law allows motorists use studded tires from Nov. 1 until March 31, unless the state changes the deadline.

Transportation officials do not anticipate any further extensions beyond April 25.

Despite the extended deadline, officials remain concerned about possible roadway damage related to studded tires. In addition, research shows studded tire-equipped vehicles require longer stopping distance.

The agency encouraged drivers to work with local tire dealers to determine the best tires for vehicles and driving conditions, including traction tires meant for legal and safe year-round use.


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