Shed Those Studded Tires or Face a Big Fine in Washington State
Studded tires are great in ice and snow but state officials say they're tough on state roads and they hope you'll have studds removed by the end of the month. Washington State Department of Transportation officials say drivers need to remove studded tires by Friday, March 31. If you meet the deadline you'll be able to avoid a $137 fine which they say could be issued by the Washington State Patrol starting as soon as Saturday, April 1.
Studded tires are legal in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31.
STUDDED TIRES DO A LOT OF DAMAGE TO ROADS EACH YEAR
There is no individual exception or “out of state waiver” to the studded tire dates.
“Studded tires cause between $20 million to $29 million in damage to state-owned roads in Washington each winter and also damage city and county roads,” says WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin. “We urge motorists to explore all their traction options, including non-stud, winter-tread tires which are different from all-season tires. These tires are legal year-round and don’t damage our highways.”
SOMETIMES THE DEADLINE IS EXTENDED BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER
As you might assume state law gives the Washington State Department of Transportation the authority to extend the deadline when circumstances call for it, "most commonly when a forecast indicates widespread snow and ice. While late season storms are possible in the mountain passes, there are no forecasted statewide conditions that would call for an extension to the deadline. For mountain travel, WSDOT recommends drivers use approved traction tires and carry chains, if necessary."
TRAVEL WITH THE KIT APP ON YOUR PHONE
Real-time road conditions are available before heading out by downloading the KIT app free in your app store. Washington and Oregon share the same studded tire removal deadline.
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