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Drivers Could Face New Winter Driving Rules on Interstate 70

Courtesy Colorado State Patrol

Colorado lawmakers are giving the nod to a bill that requires all drivers to carry chains or snow tires - or have all-wheel or four-wheel drive - if they're traveling the interstate between Dotsero and Morrison from September to June.

Violations could result in a $100 fine, which jumps to $500 if a driver causes one or more lanes of traffic to be closed because they aren't properly equipped.

Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Democrat from Vail, recently spoke in support of the House Bill 19-1207, saying when I-70 is closed, it has a compounding effect on the economy in western Colorado.

“Shift workers from Leadville can’t get to Vail,” she said. “They miss payday that day. Ski instructors can’t make it into communities to teach lessons. We can’t get deliveries.”

The state is considering a variety of education programs, including checkpoints, to enforce the rules.

The bill enjoys strong bipartisan support in both chambers. It faces one more vote in the Colorado House before it heads to Gov. Jared Polis. If he signs it, it would go into effect this August 2 and would likely be enforced during next winter's snow season.