SALEM, Ore. — Studded tire season will extend into April, according to a statement from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Usually, the season extends from November 1 through March 31.
This year, studded tires will be allowed through Sunday, April 15. The decision affects Washington state as well. In both cases, state laws allow transportation authorities to extend the deadline if weather forecasts predict winter conditions beyond the normal season.
Beyond studded tires, there are other types of traction tires that meet the Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for use in severe snow conditions. All of these tires display a sign on the tire sidewall showing a three-peaked mountain with a snowflake in the center.
Studies indicate that these other traction tires cause no more damage to roadways than standard all-weather radial tires, but can provide better traction than studded tires on bare pavement.
"The forecast suggests Oregon's mountain passes will receive some significant snow in the next few weeks," said Luci Moore, State Maintenance and Operations Engineer. "But we ask that if you're not planning to travel in those areas, please don't wait until the last minute to remove your studded tires."
Drivers with studded tires still on their vehicles after April 15 can be charged with a Class-C traffic violation.
A statement from ODOT encourages drivers to use other types of traction tires or chains to help minimize the roadway damage that studded tires can cause. A 2014 study concluded that studded tires cause about $8.5 million in damage each year to state highways.
This is only the fifth time in the past 16 years that ODOT has extended the studded tire season past March 31. All three years between 2010 and 2012 had extensions.
Studded tire season has been extended until Apr 15, 2018. @WSDOT is doing the same. Forecasts suggest that mtn passes will see some significant snow in the next few weeks. We still encourage other types of traction tires or chains to minimize road damage that studded tires cause. pic.twitter.com/tMJ1yGodW5
— Oregon DOT (@OregonDOT) March 23, 2018