Progressive law on the use of chains comes into force

August 18, 20210

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) requires commercial vehicle drivers traveling on I-70 between marks 133 (Dotsero) and 259 (Morrison) to have sufficient chains from September 1 to May 31 each year.

According to Colorado law, chains are not required for trailers, only for trucks.

Truck drivers will be notified of the law by electronic displays, they can also receive this information by calling 511, on the website and through the media.

“Chains must consist of two circular metal loops, one on each side of the tire, connected by not less than 9 evenly-spaced chain loops across the tread. Commercial vehicles that have 4 or more drive wheels must chain 4 wheels. Dual tire chains are acceptable,” the Colorado Department of Transportation states. 

According to CDOT, there are two levels of chain use law that can be implemented depending on weather conditions:

CHAIN LAW LEVEL 1/CODE 17: All single drive axle combination commercial vehicles must chain all four drive wheels; cables are not permitted as ATDs. All other commercial vehicles must have snow tires or chains. Level 1/Code 17 may be implemented any time there is snow covering any part of the traveled portion of pavement on an ascending grade.

CHAIN LAW LEVEL 2/CODE 18: All commercial vehicles must chain up. Single drive axle combination and tandem drive axle commercial vehicles must chain four drive wheels. Autotransports must comply to the extent possible without causing damage to hydraulic lines. Buses must chain two drive wheels to comply. Level 2/Code 18 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the entire traveled portion of pavement on an ascending grade, or when driving conditions dictate that this level is necessary to protect safety and to minimize road closures.

The fine for not carrying chains on I-70 between mileposts 133–259 from September 1–May 31 is $50 plus a $17 surcharge. Statewide, the fine for not chaining up when the chain law is in effect is $500 plus a $79 surcharge. The fine for blocking a highway as a result of not chaining up is $1,000 plus a $157 surcharge, according to CDOT.

Chain-Up Station Locations:

  • I-70 Eastbound: Mile markers 178, 183, 184 (shoulder), 187 (shoulder), 195, 203 (scenic area), 205, 219, 228, 241, 251, 289, 343
  • I-70 Westbound: Mile markers 358, 263, 260, 254 (Buffalo Overlook), 228, 223, 221, 219, 213, 197, 179
  • I-25 Northbound: Mile marker 159 
  • I-25 Southbound: Mile marker 17

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