SALIDA — Forecasts indicate Colorado isn’t finished with snow just yet. With the spring storm season in full-effect, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) wants to help ensure drivers are prepared for snow- and ice-packed roads. As part of CDOT’s Winter Wise campaign, CDOT and Big O Tires will host a courtesy tire safety check on Saturday, March 31, at Monarch Mountain Lodge to inform drivers whether their tires and tread comply with Colorado’s Traction Law.
During inclement weather, CDOT will activate the Traction Law when road conditions become hazardous. When in effect, the Traction Law calls for all vehicles to have snow tires, mud/snow tires or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle. All tires must have a minimum one-eighth of an inch tread. If weather conditions deteriorate further, CDOT will activate the Chain Law, which requires every vehicle to have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock). Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines ranging from $130 to $650.
CDOT repeatedly sees highway closures due to spun-out vehicles with poor tire tread. By providing drivers a free and easy opportunity to have their tires checked, CDOT hopes to reduce the number of poorly-equipped vehicles on the road and keep all travelers safe.
“Colorado’s weather is unpredictable, so we encourage all drivers to be prepared for snow even late into the season,” said Stacia Sellers, CDOT Region 1 Communications Specialist. “Driving with bald or insufficient tires on snow- and ice-packed roads is a recipe for extended delays, crashes and injuries. We always say that it’s better to be prepared late in the season than not at all.”
THE FREE EVENT
Representatives from Big O Tires will be offering free tire checks on Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Monarch Mountain Lodge, located at 22720 West US Hwy 50 just east of the Monarch ski area. Big O Tires technicians will be on site to discuss tire safety and inspect vehicles to determine if they meet the Traction Law requirements. After a quick check, technicians will provide motorists with a tire-check card that explains Colorado’s Traction Law requirements and informs them whether their tires comply.
“Tires are the most important thing on a motorist’s vehicle,” said Rick Elsner, Big O Tires Franchise Owner. “Without safe tread, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you are driving, you will put yourself and others at risk on winter roads. At Big O Tires, we are dedicated to tire safety education and maintenance for our community.”
VIDEO: TIRE PERFORMANCE DEMONSTRATION
Last month, CDOT partnered with MasterDrive to demonstrate how car performance improves drastically with better tire tread by putting three identical compact cars, each with different tire treads, on an ice rink. The three cars—one with low-tread tires, one with mud- and snow-designated tires and one with snow tires—were pitted against each other to show acceleration and stopping distance. No surprise, the vehicle with snow tires was the first to come to a complete stop. View photo and video footage from the demonstration here.
CDOT’s Winter Wise campaign focuses on education, tools and resources to help keep drivers safe on Colorado’s winter roads. To learn more and view helpful tips for winter driving, visit winter.codot.gov.