DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado lawmakers are debating a bill that would require travelers along Interstate 70 in the mountains during winter months to have proper tires or chains.
Some lawmakers believe cars should abide by the same laws as trucks during winter travel conditions. The proposal would require cars that travel the 125-mile stretch between Morrison and Dotsero along I-70 to have snow tires, 1/8 inch tread or chains.
If drivers don’t comply, they face fines of more than $100.
“The wouldn’t be pulled over just for not having this,” said Colorado State Patrol Sgt. David Hall.
State patrol would only ticket drivers who are involved in another violation.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol say that many of the traffic delays on I-70 are caused by cars with bald tires.
CDOT said in one day it helped move 22 stuck cars and 19 of those had bald tires.
Colorado has some of the toughest chain laws in the country for trucks but passenger cars have been allowed to slide, literally.
Currently chain laws only go into effect for cars if CDOT declares a snow emergency.
Under the proposed legislation by two lawmakers from the Western Slope, cars would be held to the same tire standard as trucks regardless of weather between the months of November and May.
The bill also calls for signs by CDOT that would educate drivers about the law.
Supporters say the backups are not just a matter of inconvenience but economics.
“That additional time means missed delivery schedules, which costs you and all consumers money because time is money,” said Colorado Motor Carriers Association spokesman Tom Fulton.
CDOT already conducts tire education by traveling to ski resorts and measuring the tread on parked cars and leaving the owners notes.
The bill passed its first committee on Wednesday. If enacted the law would take effect in September.