News

Motorists advised to avoid or limit driving during upcoming snowstorm

February 24, 2021 -  Fast-moving storm can make for hazardous driving conditions; telework if you can!

DENVER/FRONT RANGE — A fast-moving snow storm is expected to develop along the Front Range late Wednesday and become widespread through the evening. The heaviest snowfall is expected along the foothills, with four to eight inches and moderate snowfall late tonight into Thursday morning.  It covers areas farther south and west, including the Palmer Divide, Colorado Springs, as well as the Rampart, Wet and Sangre De Cristo Mountain ranges.

Roads are expected to become icy and snow packed by this evening. Farther south, conditions will deteriorate after midnight through tomorrow morning. 

Areas forecast to be hard hit:

  • Along the I-70 corridor from the Denver area and up to the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels.

  • I-25 between Fort Collins and Trinidad, with significant impacts forecast in the Denver and Colorado Springs area.  

What motorists should know:

  • Avoid traveling in a snowstorm!

  • There could be a potential for road closures due to anticipated snowfall rate of up to two inches an hour between 8 p.m. and midnight, particularly along I-25 between south of Denver and north of Colorado Springs in the Monument Hill area. This is also a construction zone. Avoid traveling in this area during a snowstorm.  

  • Teleworking is encouraged if you are able to do so, and delay travel until the storm has moved out later tomorrow morning.

  • If you must be out, be Winter Wise, with the appropriate tires and an emergency kit to include battery cables, extra food and water, blankets and other emergency supplies.

  • Know before you go, and check out road conditions by going to COtrip.org

  • When you are driving in snowy conditions, TAKE IT SLOW, leave plenty of following space, and don’t pass snow plows.

A glance at the weather:

Expected Snowfall Graphic

Bow to the plow!

It is extremely dangerous for motorists to try to pass plows because you could encounter white-out conditions and ridges of snow between the lanes. It is now a Class A traffic offense to pass a snowplow operated by a state, county or local agency when the truck is displaying its lights and operating in tandem formation with one or more snowplows. The snowplows have the right-of-way. Stay back three to four car lengths from snow plows. 

Stay back 3-4 car lengths graphic

Know the Traction Law

  • During winter storms, or when conditions require, CDOT will implement the Traction Law. During a Traction Law, all motorists are required to have EITHER:

    • 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16” tread depth

    • Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth 

    • Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth

    • Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth 

    • Chains or an alternative traction device

  • The Traction Law applies statewide but only when activated by CDOT during winter weather conditions. However, the Traction Law is active at all times on I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison between Sept. 1 and May 31.

  • The Traction Law focuses on passenger vehicles, as commercial vehicles have their own restrictions.

  • It is unlawful to proceed when a state highway is closed or to proceed when a restriction is in effect without the required traction equipment.

  • The public will be notified by electronic signs when a Traction Law is active.

  • Violators will be given a citation, which comes with a $100 fine and $32 surcharge. That jumps to a $500 fine with a $156 surcharge if a violation results in the closure of one or more traffic lanes.

Stay Informed

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

About Winter Wise

CDOT’s Winter Wise campaign focuses on education, tools and resources to help keep drivers safe on Colorado’s winter roads. To learn more and view helpful tips for winter driving, visit winter.codot.gov. For specific information about I-70 and other highway travel conditions, motorists can call 511 or check COtrip.org. Additionally, drivers can check Twitter for up-to-date travel information via @ColoradoDOT. For more detailed information about the Traction and Passenger Vehicle Safety Laws, snowplow laws, safety stats and frequently asked questions, visit winter.codot.gov.  

 

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.