Tis the season to plan for snow and ice

Studded tires allowed in Washington from Nov. 1 to March 31, stud-free winter tire alternatives are legal year-round"

OLYMPIA  - With some early storms already here and full-fledged winter
fast approaching, now is the time for travelers to make sure theyre
prepared for winter driving.

The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers
to start preparing themselves and their vehicles for winter weather.
Drivers can check out WSDOT'swinter driving web page
https://www.wsdot.com/winter ]for tips and information.

WSDOT also asks travelers to always "know before you go" and get the 
most
up-to-date roadway information before heading out.

Our crews work hard to keep roads clear, but we need the publics help
as well, said WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin. Most
pass closures are due to preventable spin outs or crashes from
vehicles driven too fast or not having proper equipment. This year
COVID-19 protocols could mean slightly longer road or pass closures,
as well as more chain requirements during major storms, so we need
everyone to be prepared and stay informed to help keep traffic moving.

*To check conditions and prepare for winter weather:*
  * Download theWSDOT mobile app [
https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/products/ ].
   * Follow WSDOT's regional and pass accounts onTwitter [
https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/twitter.htm ], the agency'sFacebook [
https://www.facebook.com/WSDOT/ ]site and online travel alerts [
https://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/ ].
   * Sign up [ https://service.govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/
subscriber/new
]for email and/or text updates about road conditions  text alerts
about Snoqualmie Pass delays [
https://wsdot.wa.gov/travel/know-before-you-go/keeping-you-informed ]
is a subscription option.
   * Download, print and carry the WSDOTWinter Driving Guide [
http://www.wsdot.com/winter/files/WinterDrivingBrochure.pdf ].
   * Get your vehicle ready [
https://www.wsdot.com/winter/files/winter-driving-what-to-carry.pdf ]
and plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including heavily
traveled routes such as Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and White Pass.
   * Carry chains and knowcurrent traction and chain requirements [
https://www.wsdot.com/Traffic/passes/default.aspx ]for mountain
passes, which are also available on highway-advisory signs,
highway-advisory radio and bycalling 511.
   * Preset your radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for WSDOT's
traffic-information stations.

*Alternatives to chains* Although some vehicle manufacturers recommend
against the use of tire chains for certain models, that doesnt excuse
travelers from state traction device laws. These requirements exist to
help keep all traffic moving safely during extreme winter conditions.

The Washington State Patrol providesan online list of state-approved
alternative traction devices on its vehicle equipment webpage [
https://www.wsp.wa.gov/driver/vehicle-equipment-requirements/ ] under
traction tires These approved alternatives meet state traction tire
requirements. All travelers are reminded to prepare for changing
weather conditions and avoid a costly ticket by carrying chains or
approved alternatives whenever crossing mountain passes. Failure to
obey a tire chains sign can mean a ticket of up to $500. Special chain
enforcement patrols will be keeping an eye on mountain passes this
winter.

*Studded tires* By law, studded tires are legal for use in Washington
state only from Nov. 1 through March 31. This applies to all vehicles
in Washington, even those traveling from other states, and no personal
exemptions or waivers exist.

WSDOTestimates studded tires [https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Business/
MaterialsLab/Pavements/Default.htm
]cause between $20 million and $29 million in pavement damage to
state-owned asphalt and concrete roadways each year. Motorists are
encouraged to visit a tire dealer to learn more about their options,
including stud-free, winter tread traction tires. This type of tire is
different than an all-season tire, is legal year-round and does not
cause the same roadway damage as studded tires. More information about
studded-tire restrictions and requirements can be found in theFAQ [
http://www.wsp.wa.gov/driver/vehicle-equipment-requirements/ ]on the
WSP website.

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