Colorado Department of Transportation Traction Laws

Colorado Department of Transportation Chain Law Denver

Fact Sheet -Traction Law and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law

  • Traction Law (Code 15) - Use George's Head to Check Your Tread If weather conditions require, CDOT will implement a Traction Law.Under a Traction Law, motorists will need to have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation, or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle - all tires must have a minimum 3-16th inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16) - Chain Up or Stay OffDuring severe winter storms, CDOT will implement a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law - this is the final safety measure before the highway is closed. Under a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law, every vehicle on the roadway is required to have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).


  • Motorists driving with inadequate equipment during a Traction Law or Passenger Vehicle Chain Law could be fined more than $130.
  • If a motorist blocks the roadway because they have inadequate equipment during a Traction Law or Passenger Vehicle Chain Law, they could be fined more than $650.

Test Your Tread

Find out if your tires are safe for winter driving by doing the Quarter Test:

  • Insert a quarter upside down into your tire tread, with Washington's head going in first.
  • If the top of the head is covered by tread, you're good to go.
  • If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire (test multiple points), you can't drive when a Traction Law is called - you also likely need new tires.

Traffic Facts

  • At 60 MPH on snowy pavement, winter tires require 310 ft. to stop. All-season tires require more than double that (668 ft.).
  • In 2014, one of the worst traffic delays on the I-70 Mountain Corridor was caused by unprepared motorists. Severe delays were caused by 22 vehicles spinning out and causing crashes - 19 of those vehicles had worn tires.
  • Traffic accidents - not volume - account for as much as 60 percent of all traffic delays.
  • A crash that only takes 10 minutes to clear can delay traffic for an hour.

Are you Ready For the Traction Law?

  1. Larry H. Miller Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 104th

    1800 W 104th Ave
    Thornton, CO 80234-3602

    • Sales: 3038354234
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