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WyDOT issues reminders on chain law requirements

Nov 24, 2013 - From staff reports

The Wyoming Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers that the state's chain laws will go into effect when winter storms significantly affect highway travel.

In Fremont County, the chain law is likely to be enacted in the South Pass area of Wyoming Highway 28 between Farson and Lander.

"Level 1" is declared when conditions are rated as "hazardous." Travel is restricted to vehicles equipped with tire chains, or to vehicles with adequate snow tires, or all-wheel-drive vehicles.

When conditions deteriorate to an "extremely hazardous" rating, "Level 2" of the chain law is declared. Travel is then restricted to vehicles equipped with tire chains or all-wheel-drive vehicles equipped with adequate mud and snow or all-weather tires.

For commercial vehicles, "Level 2" of the chain law requires chains be on at least two of the drive wheels, at opposite ends of the same drive axle.

Along I-80 in southern Wyoming, the chain law is most likely to be enacted for three specific high-elevation sections.

- Three Sisters (mileposts 7 to 34, east and westbound) between Evanston and Bridger Valley.

- Walcott Junction (beginning at milepost 235, eastbound) east of Rawlins and Sinclair.

- Summit (beginning at milepost 318, eastbound) from the bottom of Telephone Canyon east of Laramie.

Drivers on I-80 who cannot meet the requirements of the chain law will be asked to turn around and return to the nearest community.

Highway Patrol troopers may make compliance checks when the chain law is in effect. A driver who violates the chain law and causes a highway closure can be fined $750; other chain law violations carry a $250 penalty.

"The chain law was enacted to improve traveler safety and to reduce the number of road closures resulting from vehicles becoming stuck on the roadway," WHP Administrator Col. John Butler said. "Our enforcement efforts are focused on those goals.

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