On Sept. 1, Colorado’s new Interstate 70 traction law went into effect, and it will impact outdoor aficionados and westward travelers this ski season. Before the weather turns nasty, here’s what drivers need to know to stay ticket-free:
Which roads are part of this new law?
The new traction requirements are mandatory for all drivers traveling on Interstate 70 between Dotsero and Morrison. Other roads will see driving restrictions only when there are adverse weather conditions.
RELATED: How to navigate I-70 traffic during ski season without losing your mind
What does my car need to be compliant?
The new law mostly impacts drivers of two-wheel-drive vehicles. For nine months of the year, September through May, two-wheel-drive cars must have specialized winter tires or traction devices when driving on the mountainous section of I-70 — no matter what kind of weather is going on.
Under the new law, drivers will need:
- All-season tires with a mud/snow designation (often known as “M+S”)
- Snow tires
- Drivers may use their standard tires if they carry traction chains or AutoSocks.
What if I have a four-wheel-drive vehicle?
Tires on all vehicles, including ones with four-wheel-drive, must have minimum tread depths of three-sixteenths of an inch. The old law required just an eighth of an inch.
What happens if I’m caught without the correct tires?
Violators will be given a $100 citation with a $32 surcharge. If a driver winds up closing one or more lanes of traffic, that fine jumps to $500 with a $156 surcharge.
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