It's only September 9, and the Colorado Department of Transportation already has traction laws in place for passenger vehicles traveling I-70 between Silverthorne and Georgetown.

Wasn't it 100 degrees just a couple of days ago? Earlier this morning, Wednesday, September 9, 2020, CDOT posted an alert on their official webpage stating "Passenger vehicles are required to have snow or mud/snow tires, use chains/alternative traction devices, or be a 4WD/AWD vehicle." This applies to vehicles traveling both westbound and eastbound between mile markers 205 to 228.

Yesterday afternoon, September 8, a similar alert went out for westbound and eastbound US 50 on Monarch Pass between mile markers 205 to 190. The same applied to US 285 Kenosha Pass. A seven-mile stretch of CO 9 Hoosier Pass required "All vehicles must use chains or alternate traction devices."

These alerts are in addition to the existing alerts regarding the various wildfires in Colorado. Fires have caused some routes to be closed, and other routes restricted to loads less than 12' wide. The restriction for loads no larger than 12 feet wide applies to I-70 Westbound and Eastbound from Glenwood Springs to Dotsero and will remain in effect 24/7 until October.

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What happens if a motorist doesn't comply with these requirements? According to CDOT, drivers caught without adequate equipment when traction or chain laws are in effect could be fined more than $130. In addition, anyone who blocks a roadway because of insufficient traction could be fined an additional $650.

If you're planning to travel in Colorado, be sure to check out COTrip.org. You can check out live video feeds from all over the state, and check weather conditions, everything from "scattered showers" to "icy in spots" for specific stretches of roadway.