Traction law applied 66 times on I-70 |

Traction law applied 66 times on I-70

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

The Colorado Department of Transportation commends motorists for what, so far, has been a relatively uneventful 2015-16 winter driving season along the Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor, according to a news release. As part of a multi-pronged campaign to increase safety on the roadway, between Oct. 22 and Dec. 1, the Traction Law (Code 15) has been implemented 66 times along I-70.

"Weather along the I-70 Mountain Corridor can change from smooth sailing to slick and scary in a matter of minutes, and stay that way for a long period of time," Amy Ford, CDOT director of communications, said in a statement. "We're constantly monitoring current and forecasted weather, and assessing road conditions, to determine when all motorists need safe equipment to let everyone travel safely on the roadway."

When the traction law is in effect, all passenger vehicles need to have either snow or mud and snow (M+S) tires, or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle, or use chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock). All tires, regardless of the vehicle, must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.

CDOT has not yet implemented the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16), the final safety measure before the highway is closed during severe winter storms. Under a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law, every vehicle on the roadway is required to have chains or an alternative traction device (such as AutoSock).

When either of these laws are in effect, a motorist can be fined more than $130 for not having proper equipment or more than $650 for blocking the roadway. If a vehicle is seen struggling on a slick roadway, it could be cause to pull them over, because it's a safety hazard for that vehicle and others nearby.

"Last year, through the Change Your Peak Drive campaign, we were able to achieve a 35 percent decrease in fatal and injury crashes and a 46 percent decrease in weather-related crashes along the I-70 Mountain Corridor," Ford added. "With the Traction Law, we're reminding drivers that adequate tires are absolutely essential to a safe trip up and down the hill. We want to see 100 percent of drivers checking their tires before getting on I-70, and ideally, avoid traction-related crashes."