OLYMPIA - The falling leaves and colder weather can mean only one
thing - snow and ice are just around the corner. With the changing
seasons, now is the perfect time for travelers to shift their focus
towards winter driving.
The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers
to start preparing themselves and their vehicles well before the
threat of snow and ice kicks into high gear. Drivers can check out
WSDOT's winter driving web page<http://www.wsdot.com/winter/> for tips
and information. WSDOT also asks travelers to always "know before you
go" and get the most up-to-date roadway information before heading
"Our crews are ready for winter and work hard to keep roads clear of
snow and ice," said WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin.
"But we also need the public's help in being prepared for winter
weather. Most of the pass closures we see are due to spin outs or
crashes from a vehicle traveling too fast or not having proper winter
To check conditions and prepare for adverse weather:
* Download the WSDOT mobile
* Follow WSDOT's regional and pass accounts on
Twitter<https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/twitter.htm>, the agency's
Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/WSDOT/> site and online travel
for email and/or text updates about road conditions - including
Snoqualmie Pass delay text
* Download, print and carry the WSDOT Winter Driving
(pdf 1.83 mb).
* Get your vehicle
ready<http://www.wsdot.com/winter/files/WhatToCarry2016.pdf> (pdf 2
mb) and plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including
heavily traveled routes such as Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and
* Carry chains and know current traction and chain
mountain passes, which are also available on highway-advisory signs
and highway-advisory radio and by calling
* Preset your radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for WSDOT's
Alternatives to chains
Some vehicle manufacturers recommend against the use of tire chains
for certain models - but that doesn't exempt travelers from state laws
about extra traction devices. The Washington State Patrol provides a
list of approved, alternative-traction
(pdf 133 kb) that meet state chains and traction tires requirements.
All travelers are reminded to carry chains whenever crossing mountain
passes to be prepared for changing weather conditions and potentially
avoid a costly ticket. Failure to obey a tire chains sign can mean a
ticket of up to $500. Special chain enforcement patrols will be
keeping an eye on mountain passes this winter.
By law, studded tires are legal for use in Washington state only from
Nov. 1 through March 31. This applies to all vehicles in Washington,
even those traveling from other states.
WSDOT estimates studded
cause between $20 million and $29 million in pavement damage to
state-owned asphalt and concrete roadways each year. Motorists are
encouraged to visit a tire dealer to learn more about stud-free,
winter tread traction tires. These type of tires are different than
all-season tires, are legal year-round and do not cause the same
roadway damage as studded tires. More information about studded-tire
restrictions and requirements can be found in the
the WSP website.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here