I-70 tire bill passes Senate
DENVER — The Colorado Senate on Friday gave yet another level of approval to a bill that would require winter motorists on Interstate 70 to either have adequate tires or carry traction devices. But the bill’s future remains uncertain.
The bill was first introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives by Diane Mitsch Bush, a Democrat who represents Eagle and Routt counties, and Republican Rep. Bob Rankin, whose district includes portions of Garfield County. The bill passed the House, and then went to the Senate.
Senator Randy Baumgardner, a Republican whose district includes Grand County, added an amendment to the bill that would apply its requirements to the highways that intersect I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison.
According to Amie Mayhew of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association — which supported the bill — the amendment would require new variable message signs on the highways that don’t now have them. That could require further work between the House and Senate versions, and it’s uncertain whether a final bill will be passed for Gov. John Hickenlooper to sign.
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The bill was introduced and touted as a way to help put safer vehicles on I-70 between November and May. A Colorado Department of Transportation study following a “perfect storm” in early February of 2014 found that most of the cars that ended up blocking highway lanes had inadequate tires.
The bill would fine motorists whose vehicles ended up closing or blocking lanes if those vehicles are found to have inadequate tires. The bill has broad support from towns and counties along the mountain corridor. Business groups also support the bill, as do state agencies including the department of transportation and the Colorado State Patrol.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org or @scottnmiller.