Colorado State Patrol Issues a Stern Reminder: Prepare Your Car and Change Your Mindset for Winter Driving

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(COLO) – With more snow arriving across the State, the Colorado State Patrol is reminding all motorists, both commercial and passenger vehicle drivers, to be prepared with the right equipment for the weather. During storms, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will implement traction laws when conditions require.

 “The last two weeks news headlines have been filled with law enforcement, CDOT plows, and now an ambulance being struck by passing motorists on I-70,” stated Colonel Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “If carrying chains or checking your tire tread seems like a hassle, imagine the inconvenience of causing a crash or worse yet, killing someone.”

I-70 continues to lead the state where the Colorado State Patrol has issued the most citations and seen the most crashes due to violations related to tire and chain restrictions. Often times drivers are also not adjusting their speed for the conditions or paying close enough attention to what else is happening on the roadway.

“Driving deserves your full attention and when conditions worsen with snow and ice you need to adjust your mindset,” stated Chief Packard. “It does not matter how big your vehicle sits up on the roadway or how frequently you drive in the snow – slow your speed when weather impacts the roads and move over for stopped crash responders and vehicles. This is the law.”

According to Colorado’s current chain law, all vehicles need to be prepared with adequate tires and equipment when traveling in Colorado during winter. Here is what you need to know based on your vehicle type:

Larger Vehicles, Including Recreational and Commercial Motor Vehicles

All motor vehicles with a GCWR/GVWR of 16,001 pounds or more are required to carry tire chains from September 1 through May 31 when traveling on any portion of I-70 between mile point 259 (Morrison) and mile point 133 (Dotsero).  The vehicle must be equipped with enough chains or alternate traction devices (ATDs) to be able to comply with the Commercial Vehicle Chain Law if it is put into effect.

Smaller Vehicles, Including two-wheel and four-wheel drive

All two-wheel drive motor vehicles with a GCWR/GVWR less than 16,001 pounds traveling on any portion of I-70 between mile point 259 (Morrison) and mile point 133 (Dotsero) from September 1 through May 31 must have:

  • Tire chains for two or more drive tires; or
  • An approved ATD for two or more drive tires; or
  • Tires with a tread depth of at least 3/16-inch and which are rated for either “All weather” or “Mud and Snow” (indicated by a “All Season”, M+S, M/S, etc. on sidewall) by the manufacturer.

 

All four-wheel drive motor vehicles with a GCWR/GVWR that is less than 16,001 pounds traveling on any portion of I-70 between mile point 259 (Morrison) and mile point 133 (Dotsero) from September 1st through May 31st must have tires with a tread depth of at least 3/16-inch and are adequate for winter driving conditions.

Chain law restrictions are announced through the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). At minimum, they will notify the public on static and electronic variable message roadway signs. In addition, this information is regularly announced through 511 traveler information (dial *511), the official CDOT travel website (www.cotrip.org), and media outlets.

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ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs.  In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more. For additional information, visit us online at Colorado State Patrol or follow us on TwitterInstagram, YouTube, or Facebook.