Summer may not end until late September, but here in Colorado, we're preparing for winter.

Each year Colorado's vehicle traction and chain laws for passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles go into effect at the beginning of September to keep travelers safe.

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Colorado Traction and Chain Law Dates

Beginning September 1st, traction and chain laws go into effect in the state of Colorado. This law will remain in effect until May 31st of the following year. It may seem ridiculous at first that the law is in effect for 9 months out of the year, but the weather in Colorado can be unpredictable and can turn severe in an instant, especially when traveling through the mountains.

Once again, the traction law is active at ALL TIMES during this period, even if conditions are clear.

Colorado Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain Laws

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation:

During a Traction Law, all motorists are required to have EITHER:

  1. 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16” tread depth
  2. Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth
  3. Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth
  4. Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth
  5. Chains or an approved alternative traction device

The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) will enforce the Traction and Chain Laws as secondary offenses. This means CSP can only cite motorists if they crash and/or cause traffic delays and are not compliant with the laws.

If you do cause a crash or lane/road closure due to inadequate equipment when a Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect, you could be fined $650 or more.

It is unlawful to proceed when a state highway is closed or when a restriction is in effect and you lack the required traction equipment. You could potentially harm yourself, and those around you, as well as cause damage to the roads.

Keep scrolling to see how bad Colorado roads and highways got last winter. 

Travel Alert: See Colorado's Snow Covered Roads From Around the State

Scroll through this morning's photos from traffic cameras around the state that show off the snowfall and hazardous travel areas around the state.

Strangest Laws in Colorado You're Probably Breaking Right Now

We all try our hardest to follow the law, even when we don't agree with them. We took a look at some of Colorado's laws and discovered a few that make no sense at all.

We know drinking and driving is illegal, but did you know riding a horse while intoxicated is illegal. Or take a mule or donkey into a building could get you in trouble.

And whoever threw a missile at a car is someone we'd like to meet.

Take a look at Colorado's most outrageous laws on the books.

White Knuckle Your Way Down Colorado's Most Dangerous Roads

Slivers of asphalt cling to mountainsides with barely enough room for a subcompact car, let alone the monster RVs peppering the roadways. Blind corners leave even the most experienced drivers wondering what awaits around the bend. Let's not forget the thousand-foot drops with nothing between safety and impending doom but a thin slice of gravel -- talk about white knuckles.

If you're brave enough to "risk your life" for beautiful views, you won't be disappointed.

How many of these dangerous roads have you traveled in Colorado?

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