Travel Center

Traction & Chain Laws

When weather conditions warrant, CDOT implements Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain Laws. Motorists will be alerted to an active Traction Law or Chain Law by highway signage, and traffic/roadway condition alerts. For more information, download the Traction Law Fact Sheet. 

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Blue snowflake divider 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:

  1. 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16” tread depth
  2. Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth 
  3. Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth 
  4. Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth
  5. Chains or an approved alternative traction device
Type of Alternative Traction Device  Product Name Manufacturers
Cable Chain  Alpha Trax Laclede Chain Manufacturing Company
Cable Chain  AutoSock McGee Company
Cable Chain  EasySox  Quality Chain Corporation
Cable Chain  ISSE Tire Sock Titan Chain & Supply, LLC
Chain AutoSock
McGee Company
Chain ISSE Tire Sock Model 104
Titan Chain & Supply, LLC

View Full Approved Alternative Traction Devices List

Traction Law Updates
In 2019, Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 19-1207 into law, updating the Traction Law.

What’s Changed?

  • From Sept. 1 to May 31, the Traction Law is always active on I-70 from Dotsero to Morrison.
  • The minimum tread depth for tires on all vehicles increased to 3/16”.

These updates are meant to alleviate delays and crashes along this corridor during the peak winter driving season. Electronic signs will notify the public when there are additional closures or restrictions along I-70 in addition to the Traction Law.

Click to view the Interactive Traction Law Tree PDF

    Passenger Vehicle Chain Law 

    During severe winter storms, CDOT will implement the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law. This is the final safety measure before the highway is closed.

    When the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law is in effect, every vehicle must have chains or an approved alternative traction device.


    • Motorists driving with inadequate equipment when a Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect could be fined more than $130.
    • If a motorist blocks the roadway because they have inadequate equipment when a Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect, he/she could be fined more than $650.

    Blue snowflake divider

    The laws focus on passenger vehicles. Commercial vehicles have their own restrictions. For more information on the Chain Law for commercial vehicles, visit

    The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) will enforce the Traction and Chain Laws as secondary offenses. This means CSP can only cite motorists if they crash and/or cause traffic delays and are not compliant with the laws.

    Yes, CDOT can implement the Traction and Chain Laws on all state highways.