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REMINDER: Studded tires must be removed by tonight

Time to change those tires.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reminds drivers to remove their studded tires by midnight tonight, March 31.

Unless WSDOT grants a weather-related extension, studded tires are only legal in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31. With forecasts the rest of the month calling for temperatures well above freezing in most parts of the state, WSDOT does not plan to extend the deadline.

Crews will keep an eye on forecasts, especially at higher elevations, and will be ready to treat and clear roadways if wintry weather returns. But sooner is better for those closer to sea level, as tire stores get busier as April 1 draws closer.

“If you’re heading to the mountains, always check the forecast and keep emergency supplies and tire chains in your vehicle,” said Chris Christopher, WSDOT Maintenance Operations director. “We often see snow on the peaks and near the passes well into May.”

Under state law, driving with studded tires after March 31 is a traffic infraction and could result in a $124 ticket. More information about using studded tires in Washington is available online at www.wsdot.com.

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