NDOT to enforce stiffer chain requirements on Tahoe-area highways | nnbusinessview.com

NDOT to enforce stiffer chain requirements on Tahoe-area highways

Staff Report

Vehicles either need to have tire chains, or have snow tires and be four-wheel or all-wheel drive in order to traverse certain passes when chain requirements are in place.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Motorists traveling over Tahoe-area passes in Nevada will need more than snow tires this winter season.

Under changes enacted by the Nevada Department of Transportation, vehicles will either need to have tire chains, or snow tires and be four-wheel or all-wheel drive, in order to traverse certain passes when chain requirements are in place.

Previously, all vehicle types were permitted during chain requirements as long as they had chains or snow tires.

The change, according to NDOT, is aimed at enhancing mobility and safety on roughly 50 miles of highway in the Tahoe area. The new policy applies to: U.S. 50 (between Glenbrook and Carson City); Nevada Route 431 (Mt. Rose Highway); and Nevada Route 207 (Kingsbury Grade).

The change — intended to help ensure all vehicles on the road are prepared for winter driving — does not apply to other highway corridors in the state.

Twenty roadside chain restriction signs have been updated to reflect the change, according to NDOT. The revised requirements also will be reflected on the nvroads.com road conditions website.

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More than 300 crashes occurred on mountain highways over the course of three recent winters, according to NDOT. Statewide, as many as 2,000 crashes occur every year due to unsafe driving in snow, ice and other wet conditions, such as driving too fast for conditions or following too closely.

Updated state road conditions, including winter road closures and incidents, are available by dialing "511" or visiting nvroads.com.

In California, there are three different levels of chain requirements. Visit dot.ca.gov/cttravel/chain-controls for information.

Safe winter driving tips

Only travel in winter weather when necessary, leave enough time to safely reach your destination and plan your route to avoid snowy/icy areas and steep hills

Before driving, check weather and road conditions by dialing 511 within Nevada (or 1-877-NV-ROADS outside of Nevada)

Share your travel itinerary so others know when to expect you

Remove snow and ice from all vehicle windows, mirrors, lights, turn signals and license plates

Buckle up

Turn on headlights to see and be seen

Turn off cruise control

Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually

Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions

Do not slam on brakes. Apply steady pressure on ABS-equipped vehicles and pump the brakes if necessary on non-ABS vehicles

Always comply with all posted chain requirements

If your vehicle has snow tires, install and use them between October 1 and April 30

Keep additional distance from other vehicles

Watch carefully for snow removal equipment

Do not pass without good distance and sight clearance

Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas- they may freeze first

Maintain a high fuel level

If vehicle begins to skid, steer in direction of slide and slowly remove foot from accelerator

Be aware of black ice

If parked or stuck in snow, leave window slightly cracked for ventilation and make sure vehicle exhaust system is clear of snow

Always carry tire chains, especially when traveling in mountain passes or typically snowy areas

Remember, 4-wheel-drive vehicles cannot necessarily turn or stop any better than 2-wheel-drive vehicles

Source: Nevada Department of Transportation — visit http://www.nevadadot.com/safety/safe-winter-driving for more information about winter driving safety.