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

Joe Fain and Mona Das. FILE PHOTOS
Fain concedes election to Das in race for state Senate seat | UPDATE

Auburn Republican falls 548 votes behind the Democratic challenger from Covington in latest count

Grandfather shoots grandson, police believe it was self defense

The family present said the son was a “common source of domestic violence to everyone in the house.”

Seven horses perish in Kent barn fire

Renton RFA arrived to a barn “fully engulfed in flames.”

Voters return their ballots on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the King County Elections Office in Renton. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Friday evening results from the November General Election

Currently 19,000 ballots remain to be counted. Counting will resume Monday, Nov. 12.

Street receives honorary name for fallen Iraq War veteran 1st Lt. Michael Adams

The following from King County councilmember Reagan Dunn: Lining the street that… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Jamie Holter
                                Panther Lake Elementary students participate in a pilot program from Renton Juvenile Probation Unit bringing an anger replacement training program to elementary.
Juvenile Unit teaches social skills to young boys during nine week course

Renton Juvenile Unit brings a skill building class for troubled teens to an elementary school.

State Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, speaks on the Senate floor. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Senate committee approves hiring investigator to look into rape allegation against Fain

Seattle woman claims state Senator from Auburn sexually assaulted her in 2007

Renton resident Walter Compare is a member of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center’s Speakers Bureau and spoke at a fundraiser for the department on Oct. 23. To his left is Ellen Penninger, KCSARC’s Speakers Bureau Manager, and his right, KCSARC’s Events and Corporate Partnerships Manager Madeline Read. Contributed photo
Sexual assault resource centers report high call volumes

As the #MeToo movement has gathered steam over the last year, local… Continue reading

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

Most Read