Traction Law Implemented 145 Times on Corridor in Three Month Period

January 29, 2016 - Central/Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Traction Law and Tire Checks Aims to Increase Safety.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) initiative to educate motorists about the importance of driving with proper tires along the I-70 Mountain Corridor is in full motion with the continued implementation of the Traction Law (Code 15) and Operation TireSafe courtesy tire checks.

Between Oct. 22 and Jan. 20, the Traction Law has been implemented 143 times. Of those instances, 129 were along I-70, 14 occurred on U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass and two on U.S. 40 over Berthoud Pass. When the Traction Law is in effect, all passenger vehicles must have either snow or mud and snow (M+S) tires, a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle, or use chains or an alternative traction device. All tires, regardless of the vehicle, must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread. 

“It makes sense for vehicles to be prepared for the conditions, and that’s exactly what the Traction Law requires,” said Division of Transportation Systems Management and Operations Director Ryan Rice.  “If you’re in a snow storm and your tires aren’t adequate, you’re not only a danger to yourself, but everyone else on the road.”

Rather than wait for motorists to travel I-70 with faulty tires, CDOT is taking a proactive approach, partnering with statewide tire partners to conduct Operation TireSafe courtesy tire checks. Coinciding with the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) National Safety Month, on Jan. 16, representatives from Big O Tires, Coloradoland Tire and On-Site Tires held courtesy tire checks at I-70 ski resorts where visitors could have their tires inspected and receive information about the Traction Law.

“We had an excellent time in Vail educating motorists about the importance of good tread on snowy roads,” said Big O Tires franchise owner Matt Greco. “We managed to inspect the tires on 1,141 vehicles and found that 73 cars, or about six percent, had tires that didn’t meet the Traction Law requirements of snow tires, mud and snow tires or the minimum tread depth.”

Recreational, commercial and commuting drivers on I-70 can stay informed about conditions and an active Traction Law by watching roadway signage, calling 511, checking, or during peak travel times, listening to CDOT’s Mountain Travel Radio (via Drivers can also access up-to-date information via @ColoradoDOT on Twitter.

To encourage motorists to invest in proper equipment, CDOT is partnering with tire companies across the state to provide discounts on winter tires. Visit to find a nearby tire partner.

For more detailed information about the Traction Law, safety stats and frequently asked questions, visit

Operation TireSafe is part of CDOT’s Change Your Peak Drivecampaign, which works to improve the I-70 Mountain Corridor by encouraging mountain travelers to change not only the time they drive, but also how they drive. Through public education and strategic partnerships, CDOT works to give motorists the tools they need to be winter ready and know the resources they have for I-70 information. To learn more about the campaign and winter driving tips, visit

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