From the Reporter archive

From the Reporter archive

Start preparing for winter driving before snow and ice arrive

Studded tires allowed in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31

  • Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:31am
  • News

From the Washington State Department of Transportation:

The falling leaves and colder weather can mean only one thing – snow and ice are just around the corner. With the changing seasons, now is the perfect time for travelers to shift their focus towards winter driving.

The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to start preparing themselves and their vehicles well before the threat of snow and ice kicks into high gear. Drivers can check out WSDOT’s winter driving web page for tips and information. WSDOT also asks travelers to always “know before you go” and get the most up-to-date roadway information before heading out.

“Our crews are ready for winter and work hard to keep roads clear of snow and ice,” said WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin. “But we also need the public’s help in being prepared for winter weather. Most of the pass closures we see are due to spin outs or crashes from a vehicle traveling too fast or not having proper winter driving equipment.”

To check conditions and prepare for adverse weather:

· Download the WSDOT mobile app.

· Follow WSDOT’s regional and pass accounts on Twitter, the agency’s Facebook site and online travel alerts.

· Sign up for email and/or text updates about road conditions – including Snoqualmie Pass delay text alerts.

· Download, print and carry the WSDOT Winter Driving Guide (pdf 1.83 mb).

· Get your vehicle ready (pdf 2 mb) and plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including heavily traveled routes such as Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and White Pass.

· Carry chains and know current traction and chain requirements for mountain passes, which are also available on highway-advisory signs and highway-advisory radio and by calling 511.

· Preset your radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for WSDOT’s traffic-information stations.

Alternatives to chains

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend against the use of tire chains for certain models – but that doesn’t exempt travelers from state laws about extra traction devices. The Washington State Patrol provides a list of approved, alternative-traction devices (pdf 133 kb) that meet state chains and traction tires requirements. All travelers are reminded to carry chains whenever crossing mountain passes to be prepared for changing weather conditions and potentially avoid a costly ticket. Failure to obey a tire chains sign can mean a ticket of up to $500. Special chain enforcement patrols will be keeping an eye on mountain passes this winter.

Studded tires

By law, studded tires are legal for use in Washington state only from Nov. 1 through March 31. This applies to all vehicles in Washington, even those traveling from other states.

WSDOT estimates studded tires cause between $20 million and $29 million in pavement damage to state-owned asphalt and concrete roadways each year. Motorists are encouraged to visit a tire dealer to learn more about stud-free, winter tread traction tires. These type of tires are different than all-season tires, are legal year-round and do not cause the same roadway damage as studded tires. More information about studded-tire restrictions and requirements can be found in the FAQ on the WSP website.

More in News

Courtesy of Mary’s Place. Volunteers from KeyBank’s Hispanic-Latino Impact Networking Group and Key Women’s Network gave a formerly homeless family “everything they would need to start fresh in a new apartment” through the Make-a-Home program.
Volunteers needed to help displaced families

A mother and her children found a home in Renton thanks to Mary’s Place nonprofit

Staff, council scrap city-wide 20 mph plan

Neighborhoods can still request lower limits

Buses moving out of downtown

A new transit center may spur affordable home construction

From the Renton Reporter archives. The city has been sitting on the old Kaynan hangars, waiting to determine whether they’ll be demolished and reconstructed after the Airport Master Plan.
Councilmember sees loss of airport grant as a opportunity

Tricky airport planning is taking longer than expected, risking a $100K grant

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Seniors in nearby care facilities took flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane at Renton Municipal Airport, offered by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.
No age cap to fly

On Sunday, Aug. 11 and Monday Aug. 12 seniors from Burien, Mercer… Continue reading

Clear winners in a tight Renton primary

Pavone and Maxwell qualify with a six vote difference

Renderings of the redevelopement of 200 Mill Avenue South, taken from the new contract. Courtesy of city of Renton.
Downtown plaza promises a hotel, apartments and a park

The plans for the old City Hall location have been cemented by Cosmos and city leaders

Local church group reenacts families’ pilgrimage

This summer, over 90 youth, ages 14-18 from the Renton area re-enacted… Continue reading

Most Read