Studded tires illegal after March 31

A mechanic removes snow tires and mounts summer tires to beat the March 31 deadlineWashington and Oregon motorists, take note: Studded tires must be removed no later than March 31.

That's barring any last-minute extension, which has happened in recent years when late-season snowstorms arrive.

Drivers who continue to drive with studded tires beyond the deadline risk a $136 fine in Washington and up to $200 in Oregon.

Studded tires damage pavement, so removing them promptly after winter helps preserve roadways, according to the department of transportation in several states.

Looking ahead to next fall, debate continues about the merits of studded tires versus modern snow tires. Spokane's city streets director told The Spokesman-Review that drivers should try the latest tires from Japan, made from rubber that remains flexible enough below 45 degrees to grip the pavement.

by  Jon Osterberg

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