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Winter driving: What are the traction law and chain law?

Posted at 12:29 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 00:57:15-04

News 5 is Always Watching Out for You. With that in mind, there are two major laws every Colorado driver needs to know for the winter.

First, the traction law. Wherever the Colorado Department of Transportation or the Colorado State Patrol puts them into effect all vehicles on the highway or interstate listed must have either snow tires, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or another alternative traction device.

If you’re caught without those, or with tires that have less than an 1/8th of an inch of tread, you could be fined nearly $700 if you cause an accident or block the road.

CDOT implemented traction laws more than 130 times in the winter of 2017-2018.

Next, there’s also the passenger vehicle chain law, which is pretty rare.  If it is put in place, keep in mind that this is the last resort for CDOT before shutting down a road.

Under this law, every single vehicle on the road must have chains or an alternative traction device. The fines for violators are again nearly $700 if you cause an accident or block the road.

While these laws will be used mostly in the mountains they can be implemented on any Colorado highway.

For more information on traction and chains laws in Colorado, visit CDOT’s page.

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