Colorado is a beautiful place to work and play, but it has some road issues. Specifically, Interstate 70 between the foothills just outside of Denver and Colorado’s Western Slope is particularly dangerous in the winter months. Now, there is a new law that hopes to change that.
Beginning in September of this year, all drivers traveling through this stretch of the I-70 are required to have proper traction on their tires. This traction can include specialized winter tires, chains, or other traction devices. Those driving with four-wheel or all-wheel drive will also be considered in compliance with the law. The law states that these traction devices are to be used at all times from September to June every year.
“This new law makes great strides in making one of Colorado’s most dangerous roads even safer,” says Amy Gaiennie of Gaiennie Law Office. “This stretch is so dangerous and before drivers had only a sign, that was posted far too late, to warn them of dangerous conditions.”
That is true. Prior to the new bill being signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in May, drivers would see a sign as they approached the mountains. That sign stated that traction devices were required on tires. However, by that time it was often too late.
Travelers going to ski or simply use the mountains as a pass-through would not turn around, taking their chances instead. Now, they will know well in advance that they need traction devices, which will hopefully reduce the amount of car accidents on this particular stretch.
For those relying on their specialized winter tires alone, changes have been made to that law as well. Now, the tread on those tires must be at least three-sixteenths of an inch, up from one-eighth of an inch. It also seems as though the new law is just the beginning. Colorado lawmakers also want to enact the law on all of Colorado’s highways and roads. Those laws will go into effect when new traction and chain laws are activated.