Colorado Bill to Require Mandatory Winter Equipment on I70

A bill is currently passing through Colorado state legislature that would require all drivers on I-70 to have specialized winter road equipment between September and May.

After many years of hazardous driving conditions and resulting traffic on I70, the bill was introduced.  Traction is a major issue on the roadway and has led to countless spinouts, accidents, and delays.

i70 Traction Traffic Image: Colorado State Patrol

Under bill hb19-1207 the corridor between the towns of Dotsero and Morrison would become a mandatory winter equipment corridor. Drivers without the appropriate tire, chain, and drivetrain combination could risk fines. The bill essentially supports increased regulation for I70 winter traffic.

I70 Traffic Corridor Morrison to Dotsero, Image: Google Maps

Current laws only require proper equipment when snow or ice are forecasted/recognized by the Colorado Department of Transportation. However, the unpredictable nature of the mountains leaves many unprepared for freak storms and variable conditions.

Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon mentioned that the traffic and driving conditions have had a significant negative impact on local town’s economies. In addition, the new bill would help to educate the public that the I70 corridor is under restrictions in winter months.

Classic Colorado I70 Traffic,  Image: SnoCountry

Roberts concluded by stating

“People are really getting behind this,” he said. “It’s time to have this higher restriction in place so we can reduce traffic.”

Sen. Bob Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale who is in favor of the bill, told The Colorado Sun

 “Anything we can do to improve traffic and improve safety on I-70, particularly in the wintertime, is just one more step toward solving a very troublesome and difficult set of problems,”

The bill has bipartisan support and seems to be gaining momentum.