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What Colorado’s Traction Laws Mean for Ski Season Travelers

The Basics of Traction Laws

As one of the top five states with the highest annual snowfall, Colorado officials have been enforcing traction laws for years. These laws place tire requirements on motorists for their safety, specifying which tires or traction devices are suitable for certain amounts of snow, as well as which roads require these for a longer period of time.

Here is what the Colorado Department of Transportation requires for winter storms— motorists can have either:

  • A four or all wheel drive vehicle.
  • Mud and snow designated tires (M+S symbol).
  • Winter tires (snowflake symbol).
  • All-weather rating tires.
  • Chains or other traction devices.

Each of these must also have 3/16” tread depths on the tires, following Governor Polis implementing this as the new minimum depth required in 2019. Along with this, the state also mandated that from the first of September through May 31, motorists must comply with the winter storm rules at all times if travelling on I-70 from Dotsero to Morrison.

How This Affects Motorists

While anyone who frequents the slopes may already know about these requirements, newcomers or tourists may be surprised to learn that fines over $130 may be imposed on those who do not comply. Likewise, those who have breakdowns in the middle of the road, spin out, or otherwise block traffic for not having the proper equipment on their vehicles may be fined $650 or more.

Although the newer mandates single out I-70, the traction laws are enforceable on all state highways by the Colorado State Patrol. Should you be involved in an accident or cause any traffic delays, the above fines will apply and you will receive a citation. To avoid getting fined or racking up costs for car accidents, it's best to get those new tires on your vehicle as soon as possible.

If you were involved in an accident caused by someone’s negligence by not complying with the traction laws, contact our office today. Our Boulder personal injury attorneys will make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your accident and help you recover the right way.

Call Klein Frank at (303) 448-8884 to schedule a free, personalized consultation with our legal team today!

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