Colorado close to expanding traction law targeting 2WD cars driving I-70 in the mountains |

Colorado close to expanding traction law targeting 2WD cars driving I-70 in the mountains

Awaiting Polis’ signature, bill requires winter tires or traction devices 9 months of the year

Jon Murray
The Denver Post
A line of cars stretches along eastbound Interstate 70 from Silverthorne to the Eisenhower Tunnel.
File photo

Drivers who venture onto Interstate 70 in the mountains in two-wheel-drive cars with standard tires during colder months — even on sunny days — are expected to be put on notice soon: That won’t fly anymore.

Such vehicles will need specialized tires or will have to carry traction devices, no matter the weather, between Sept. 1 and May 31 under a bipartisan bill that is heading to Gov. Jared Polis. The legislation, once signed, will beef up the state’s traction law, which currently kicks in before and during winter storms — sometimes catching travelers off guard.

Four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles already pass muster under the current law if they have sufficient tread, but the bill would set a higher standard. It would increase the minimum tread depth from an eighth of an inch to three-sixteenths of an inch. Little would change for semi-trailers, whose drivers already are required to carry chains at all times during colder months.

But amid talk of the stricter law and the potential for more proactive enforcement by the Colorado State Patrol, the bulk of the concern has focused on two-wheel-drive vehicles.

Read the full story from The Denver Post.

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