The deadline for studded tire use is today, March 31st.
The safety of the traveling public is our number one priority, so we encourage drivers to drive for conditions wherever your travels take you. We do expect that snow in the mountain passes will continue for the next few days, and that we may see some brief, wet snow in the lowlands.
Currently, there is no indication of arctic-type weather that could lead to black ice. The presence of this wet snow in the lowlands and occasional heavier snow in the mountains does not indicate reason enough to extend the deadline.
Our weather forecasters also tell us the weather trend looks to be warming statewide, with the upcoming weekend being dry in almost all areas. We have our staff and equipment ready to provide for safe travel, and will impose chain restrictions if necessary.
We often talk about how studded tires damage the roadways. Are you also aware of how studded tires can make driving more dangerous? On wet roadways, you get less traction with studded tires as the studs decrease your stopping ability and increase your stopping distance. This is because they reduce full contact between a tire’s rubber compound and the pavement.
In case you may be traveling, or live outside Washington, you should know out-of-state drivers are not exempt from Washington's laws. The Washington State Patrol will enforce a $124 fine for those who use studded tires after the deadline. State troopers will use common sense if a sudden storm makes roads icy in a particular area.
You can read more about winter driving and tire options at http://www.blogger.com/www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter.