DENVER—The Colorado legislature is set to reconsider the issue of whether motorists on a mountainous portion of Interstate 70 should be required to have either tire chains or snow tires in hazardous weather.
The state's Transportation Legislation Review Committee recommended the revised snow tire bill for introduction Nov. 2. Reps. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat, and Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, plan to introduce the bill in January, when the legislature convenes.
Under the provisions of the draft bill, the Colorado Department of Transportation would have the authority to close any portion of a state highway during winter to all vehicles except:
• Vehicles equipped with tire chains or other traction control devices;
• Four-wheel-drive vehicles with tire tread depths of 4/32 inch or higher; or
• Vehicles equipped with tires that bear the mountain-snowflake (M/S or M+S) symbol and have tread depths of 4/32 inch or higher.
Drivers of commercial trucks would have to place tire chains on at least four drive wheels, according to the bill. Bus drivers would be required to have tire chains on at least two drive wheels.
The legislation specifically targets Interstate 70 between Mileposts 133 and 259, from Idaho Springs to Dotsero, Colo.
Winter closures on the I-70 mountain corridor caused by drivers with inadequate tire traction cost the state an estimated $800,000 for every hour of closure, according to Section I of the draft bill.
The Colorado House of Representatives approved a similar bill in February 2015, but the state Senate watered down that legislation, requiring only that a feasibility study be performed.