Chain Laws

A bill being heard in the legislature today could change chain laws for mountain driving, and should this law pass, drivers will need to be aware of the new requirements. House Bill 15-1173, which is being heard in the House on Second Reading today, would require ALL vehicles traveling on the I-70 Mountain Corridor during wintertime to carry traction equipment. According to the bill summary,

The bill requires all motor vehicles driving on interstate 70 between Morrison and Dotsero during the snowy season to:

  • Have tires with the mountain-snowflake symbol and a tread depth of 1/8 inch; or
  • Have tires with the M+S or M/S symbol and a tread depth of 1/8 inch;
  • Carry tire chains or an equivalent traction device.

The penalties for a violation are a $100 fine and $32 surcharge. The department of transportation is instructed to erect signs at appropriate places, notifying the public of this requirement. The bill also rewrites the chain law to clarify its provisions.

For information on Colorado’s chain laws as they stand today, head to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Travel Center webpage. Here you will find information sheets on chain laws for commercial vehicles (in the Commercial Vehicles box) and passenger/small commercial vehicles (under the heading Other Information, on the right). This website also includes information on road conditions; alternative transportation methods; lane closures, construction info, and cone zones; maps of rest areas and welcome centers; travel alerts; tourism; tolling; tunnel information; express lanes; trucker information; and much more.

Photo courtesy CDOT