DENVER (CBS4)– A bill to require drivers of non-commercial vehicles to have chains or snow tires before driving along a section of Interstate 70 during winter driving conditions failed in the state legislature but what remained is a study of the issue.
“They don’t recognize their failure to play by the rules really costs people their business. Last year we saw one weekend after another we had these tie-ups, a large number came from people not having the right equipment on their vehicles,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
On Wednesday, Hickenlooper signed the bill into law that will investigate whether the government should mandate cars and trucks use chains and snow tires during certain driving conditions.
Some lawmakers want to hold drivers responsible who are not equipped to handle icy, snow-packed or slick roads, that cause backups in the high country.
This past session lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have required chains or snow tires on all vehicles traveling along the I-70 corridor into the mountains.
“A lot of times on these bills you just got to keep coming back and say the same thing in a different way,” said Hickenlooper.
On Wednesday, the governor signed off on a study that will investigate whether to require non-commercial vehicles to have snow tires or chains during the spring and winter months on a nearly 130-mile stretch of Interstate 70 between Morrison, near Denver, and Dotsero to the west, near Glenwood Springs.
The goal of that study is to find a solution to accidents, spin-outs, and traffic tie-ups on the heavily-traveled route.
“Sometimes you have studies you are not sure are they really going to pay for themselves? I think once we get this in front of the legislature they will say this does make sense, let’s get it passed,” said Hickenlooper.
Commercial vehicles are already under strict chain laws during months when winter driving conditions exist.
The study does have the support of the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado State Patrol, commercial trucking groups and many ski areas.