DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – A renewed effort to resurrect a proposal requiring Colorado drivers to use snow tires on the Interstate 70 mountain corridor moved forward in the state Legislature on Wednesday.
House Bill 16-1039 went before the Transportation Legislative Review Committee on Wednesday afternoon. It passed the Transportation Committee by a 9-4 vote and moves off.
The bill, if passed as it is written currently, would require traction equipment to be carried on I-70 between milepost 133 at Dotsero, and milepost 259 at Morrison, when icy or snow-packed conditions are present. The bill also requires that this traction control equipment be used when icy or snowy conditions are present.
The bill will not allow for checkpoints but does allow for a start and end point for the winter season.
The Colorado Department of Transportation already requires commercial drivers to use chains. For non-commercial drivers, the state can order snow tires after weather or traffic conditions warrant an emergency declaration.
The agency favors the bill to extend the requirement to all snowy months, allowing them to advertise the winter tire requirement drivers before accidents or storms hit.
The Colorado State Patrol also supports the idea.
“Today, under current law, you don’t know because it depends on when CDOT is able to declare a Code 15, and as quickly as the weather changes in the corridor, you just don’t know,” Sgt. David Hall with the Colorado State Patrol said.
The tire requirement also has the backing of Colorado’s ski industry, which says improper tires cause accidents and costly traffic snarls.
“If this bill passes there won’t be any confusion between the dates specified in the bill and those mile markers from Dotsero to Morrison,” said Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs.
A similar measure failed last session, and Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered a study before this session to find out how the traction law could impact travel in the winter months along the corridor.