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

Fire along Twisp River Road in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest in 2018. Courtesy photo
Wildfire response: State unveils funding legislation proposal

Last year, Department of Natural Resources responded to record number of wildfires.

A new report, complete with recommendations to the Legislature, has been released by a statewide task force that was formed to address a lack of child care in Washington. File photo
Report outlines lack of child care in Washington

In King County, supply doesn’t meet demand for child care.

Racing left Renton, still bothers residents

Police say efforts were successful, but racers just moved across the city border

Renton Rotary selects Youth of the Month for December

The award is given to students who have leadership abilities, maintain a good GPA and volunteer in the community.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Booths for kids to make Christmas tree decorations were one of the highlights at the pop-up market during the downtown tree lighting in Renton. Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Renton Pavilion Events Center.
Lighting up the holiday season

Photos by Haley Ausbun. Renton Small Business Saturday and Downtown Tree Lighting,… Continue reading

Photo by Danny Rodgers for The Salvation Army.
                                Seattle Seahawks Defensive End L.J. Collier volunteers at The Salvation Army community meal on Wednesday, Nov. 26, helping serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The Salvation Army serves a free meal to the public, Monday through Thursday, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Also pictured are Captain Isaias Braga, director of The Salvation Army in Renton, and Larissa Braga, volunteer.
Seahawk feeds Rentonites in need

Photo by Danny Rodgers for The Salvation Army. Seattle Seahawks Defensive End… Continue reading

Council asks – who will fill Pavone’s seat?

City Council discusses future appointments after election

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Wyman and Vicky Dobson, as Wyman Dobson receives a certificate and medal for being a founder of the Nishiwaki-Renton sister cities. Wyman recently retired and sold his family building, where he had been an attorney for 59 years.
Dobson shuts his doors, leaves behind a nearly 60-year legacy

Long-time local lawyer, leader chooses to retire

Racing left Renton, still bothers residents

Police say efforts were successful, but racers just moved across the city border

Most Read