Drivers need to remove their studded tires by Friday or face fines, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced Monday.
Studded tires are allowed in the state from Nov. 1 until March 31, though transportation officials encourage drivers to use stud-free traction tires that can be just as effective for most drivers and cause far less damage to state roads. A 2014 study found that studded tires cause about $8.5 million in damage each year to state highways alone, not including damage to city- or county-owned roads.
The stud removal deadline comes as late winter storms continue making travel on mountain passes hazardous. Snow is forecast next weekend that could affect travel on mountain highways connecting central Oregon with Portland and the Willamette Valley.
People on either side of the Cascades who don’t plan to travel before Friday should remove their studded tires early, the department said.
“We encourage drivers to not wait until March 31 to remove their studded tires, especially if they aren’t driving in the mountain passes between now and then,” Galen McGill, state maintenance and operations engineer, said in a statement.
Drivers can use the Oregon TripCheck website, tripcheck.com, to check highway conditions and weather forecasts.
People caught driving with studded tires after March 31 can be ticketed and face a $165 fine.
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