Colorado’s new Traction Law took effect August 2, 2019, and drivers need to be ready for the changes it mandates this winter by getting their snow tires out of seasonal tire storage. Chain Law Traction Bill HB 1207 is a 2-part law. It outlines new tread requirements and passenger vehicle chain requirements for winter driving.

What Does the Traction Law Say?

This first part of the Traction Law specifies what kind of tires are permitted on the roads during winter months. For the purposes of the law, winter starts on September 1 and ends May 31. During this time, cars must have snow tires installed, or tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation; or vehicles must be four-wheel/all-wheel drive. The minimum tire tread required for driving under the Traction Law is 3/16 of an inch. If your tires don’t meet standards, snow chains can be used with your existing tires.

What Else Does the Traction Law Require?

During severe winter storms, Colorado Department of Transportation can implement a passenger vehicle chain regulation where chains or an alternative traction device is required. The law describes this second part of the Traction Law as the penultimate safety measure during bad weather, with the last one being closure of the road to all traffic.

Alerts, Enforcement, and Fines

CDT sends out alerts when these laws are in effect. Drivers may see CDT alerts in effect via road signs and the agency website. Drivers can sign up to receive alerts directly from CDT by text or email. While there is no proactive enforcement of the Traction Law at this time, measures are being considered. Drivers who are found to violate the Traction Law are subject to fines up to $130. If your car is blocking the road when these laws are in effect and you’re not in compliance, the fine could be $650.

These regulations strengthen existing laws, which previously did not apply to passenger cars. And while the Traction Law specifically mentions I-70 from Dotsero to Morrison, it actually applies beyond that to all roads in Colorado. This particular section of road was called out in the law because of its high volume of traffic and the frequency of collisions and incidents like spinouts that happen in bad weather during the winter months.

Contact SJ Tires for Your Snow Tires Today

Check your snow tires to ensure compliance with the law. Mobile tire replacement services are already stocking up in order to assist customers in need on the roadside if their tires go flat. Snow tires have a deeper tread and specially-configured tread style to handle snowy and slushy road conditions. Contact SJ Tire Co today for your snow tires, summer tires, and seasonal tire storage needs!

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