Being prepared for winter driving
Drivers on Interstate 90 are being warned to chain up or pay up this winter.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is working with the Washington State Patrol this winter to make sure drivers are following chain requirements at Snoqualmie Pass.
Drivers who don’t chain up when required could face a $500 ticket, the Department of Transportation warns.
Its a steep cost. But during recent years more than half of the closures on the interstate at Snoqualmie Pass have been due to drivers ignoring chain requirements and then crashing and blocking lanes, according to the Department of Transportation.
When traction tires are required, vehicles weighing at least 10,000 pounds must use chains. That can include some large SUVs and RVs.
When the notice from the state says “tire chains required,” vehicles smaller than 10,000 pounds are exempt if they have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
When the state notice is upgraded to “chains required on all vehicles,” four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles also must use chains.
In some cases “tire socks” are allowed as an alternative to chains. The rules for tire socks are posted online at bit.ly/WAchains.