Attention Colorado drivers! Are you ready for winter driving conditions throughout Colorado? Here’s everything you need to know about traction laws around the state.

An active traction law requires motorists to have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation, or a four-wheel/all-wheel-drive vehicle. All tires must have a minimum of three-sixteenths inch tread. Chains may also be required during severe wintry weather.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) implements passenger vehicle traction and chain laws when roads and mountain passes get snowy and dangerous. Motorists are alerted by highway signage,, and roadway condition alerts.

Mandatory traction laws will also be in effect on a 126-mile stretch of I-70 from September 1st through May 31st. This means all vehicles must carry traction law equipment or be traction law compliant on this particular stretch of I-70 extending from Dotsero to Morrison. All other roads are subject to driving restrictions during severe winter weather.

Violators could face fines of more than $130. If a vehicle blocks the road due to inadequate traction, the motorist could face a fine of more than $650. Drivers will be allowed to operate with standard tires as long as they carry tractions chains or an alternative traction device like the AutoSock. For more information from CDOT, click here.

To test your tread, CDOT recommends the “quarter test.” Insert a quarter upside down into your tire tread, with Washington’s head going in first. If the top of the head is covered by tread, you’ve passed the test. If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire (test multiple points), you’ve failed.

Traveling to the mountains? Plan ahead and be prepared for unexpected weather changes. Stay up to date with the latest road conditions and travel alerts around the state with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

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