Chain law clears Senate just before spring blizzard |

Chain law clears Senate just before spring blizzard

Colorado highway in winter.

Coloradans will face new chain rules for driving through the mountains in the winter, but not in time for the current blizzard pummeling the Front Range.

The Colorado Senate voted Monday to approve the Winter Conditions and Traction Control Requirements, sponsored by Carbondale Republican Sen. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat.

The bill, which passed the Senate in 27-to-6 vote and cleared the House 46-18 on March 11, sets minimum standards for those driving between Dotsero and Morrison on Interstate 70 between September and June.

Drivers who don’t carry snow tires, chains, or don’t have vehicles with all-wheel or four-wheel drive could face a $100 fine.

“Up in the mountains, weather can change rapidly. The Eisenhower Pass and Vail Pass are some of the most treacherous stretches of interstate in the nation and we should all have the equipment to make that trip safely,” Donovan said in a statement. “This bill will require all drivers to follow the same rules making I-70 safer and more efficient.”

Rankin previously attempted to pass the bill in 2015.  

CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol will look into ways to enforce the update chain restrictions over the summer if the bill clears the governor’s desk, and make recommendations to the Senate Transportation Committee.

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