ODOT and the Washington Department of Transportation have extended studded tire season in the two states until the end of the day Sunday April 15, 2018. Travelers can use studded tires from November 1 through March 31. State law grants each state’s transportation department to ability to extend the studded tire season when necessary based on projected weather forecasts.
“The forecast suggests Oregon’s mountain passes will receive some significant snow in the next few weeks,” said Luci Moore, State Maintenance and Operations Engineer. “But we ask that if you’re not planning to travel in those areas, please don’t wait until the last minute to remove your studded tires.”
This is only the fifth time in the past 16 years that ODOT has extended the studded tire season past March 31. Three of those extensions occurred in 2010-12.
ODOT encourages drivers to consider other types of traction tires or chains to help minimize roadway damage that studded tires cause. A 2014 study concluded studded tires cause about $8.5 million in damage each year to state highways.
In addition to studded tires, other types of traction tires are available, that meet the Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for use in severe snow conditions. These tires carry an emblem on the tire sidewall of a three-peaked mountain with a snowflake in the center.
Research shows these tires cause no more damage than standard all-weather radial tires, but they provide better traction than studded tires on bare pavement.
Drivers with studded tires on their vehicles after the deadline can be charged with a Class C traffic violation.
Know before you go: ODOT maintenance crews will continue to monitor highways and weather forecasts and will work to clear any late-season snow or ice as soon as possible. If you must travel in difficult weather conditions after March 31, please use other types of traction tires or chains, or postpone your travel until conditions improve.
Press Release by ODOT 3/23/18