The Washington State Department of Transportation is partnering with the Washington State Patrol to limit the number of crash-related closures of the mountain passes this winter. WSDOT Spokesperson Meagan Lott says they’ll call State Patrol 12 hours before a major storm hits the mountains.
“So there will be a bigger enforcement as far as troopers being up there, more of a presence. And they’ll be actively looking for drivers that may not be chaining up or having the proper type of traction device on their vehicle and pulling them over, potentially citing them.”
Lott says the state legislature created the laws for driver safety and that the chain requirements are law.
She stressed it’s all about driver safety.
“In recent years we’ve seen a number of closures basically due to drivers ignoring these tire restrictions, specifically putting on chains. If people ignore them, that ultimately leads to spinning out of control, blocking lanes and the closure of the pass for several hours.”
Lott wrote a blog entry about their work with Snoqualmie Pass, the most heavily traveled pass in Washington, which includes the laws and what each restriction means, but also includes alternatives to chains if they are needed.