Colorado chain law in effect well before winter; CDOT reminds drivers to be prepared

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Woman fixing snow chains to car wheel, photo

DENVER (KDVR) – While Labor Day weekend is all about soaking up the last bits of summer, CDOT is reminding drivers that your vehicle should already be ready for winter. 

“We know weather can change. If you remember last year, I think it was the day after Labor Day, we had a major snowstorm. It really caught people by surprise, so you just don’t know. The weather is very unpredictable here, and you need to be ready,” CDOT spokesperson Tamara Rollison said. 

I-70 traction law in effect Sept. 1; here’s what you need to know 

Colorado’s chain law went into effect on Sept 1. It requires commercial trucks to carry chains between now and May 31, 2022, when traveling the Interstate 70 mountain corridor between Morrison and Dotsero. ADVERTISING

“One of the leading causes of backups and crashes on I-70 is when…truckers do not have the proper chains,” Rollison said. 

For private passenger vehicles, Rollison says drivers need to be ready for CDOT to activate its traction laws any time it snows in the mountain corridor. 

“You either have to be driving a four-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive, and you must have the appropriate tires. If you don’t have that kind of vehicle, you either have to have snow tires or all-weather tires, and if you don’t have that, you need to carry chains or an alternative traction device,” she said. 

Traction laws also require the tread on tires to be at least 3/16 of an inch. There is a simple way to check if your tires will pass inspection. 

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“You could use a coin like a quarter, and it needs to go at least to the top of George Washington’s head. You need to have that level of tread depth,” Rollison said. 

Without the proper equipment, drivers could face fines in an addition to putting themselves and others in danger. 

“This is the time to get ready for winter weather when it comes, because you never know in Colorado. You want to be ready,” Rollison said. 

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