TWIN FALLS - Through next spring, drivers can once again use studded tires on Idaho roadways, the Idaho Transportation Department said.
Idaho law allows the use of studded tires Oct. 1 to April 30 each year. Driving with studded tires outside of that timeframe is a non-moving equipment violation with a fine of $67, according to the Idaho State Police.
Because studded tires can damage Idaho highways, ITD encourages drivers to use non-studded traction tires or delay the use of studded tires until necessary. Studded tires are snow tires with small metal cleats embedded in the tread for greater traction.
Studded tire laws vary in neighboring states, ITD's release said. Authorized start and stop dates, which can be extended based on conditions, are:
Montana: Oct. 1 - May 31
Nevada: Oct. 1 - April 30
Utah: Oct. 15 - March 31
Oregon: Nov. 1 - March 31
Washington: Nov. 1 - March 31
Wyoming: Legal all year
Idaho's law was amended in 2002 to allow studded tires until April 30. The legal removal date prior to that had been April 15. Idaho code now contains this provision: "Special exemptions from the prohibited dates may be granted by the Idaho transportation board if it is found by the board that enhancements to public safety outweigh the increased pavement wear."
Idaho law in 2003 also mandated lightweight studs because the heavier studs were found to cause too much wear to the highway surface.