Motorists traveling on Idaho highways this winter can use studded tires to improve vehicle handling. The use of studded tires is legal from Oct. 1 through April 30.
While it is legal to use the tires the transportation department advises against it unless extreme conditions warrant. Studded tires are snow tires with small metal cleats embedded in the tread. Driving on studded tires may cause undue wear on bare roadways. All-season tires with good tread or "studless" tires are good alternatives for most winter driving conditions.
Studded tire laws vary in neighboring states. Authorized start and stop dates are:
For the latest highway and weather conditions call the Idaho Traveler Information Service at 511 or 1-888-IDA-ROAD (432-7623). For online updates, visit the Idaho Traveler Information Service Web site at 511.idaho.gov Telephone and Web reports are available 24 hours a day and are updated as conditions change.
The Web also includes more than 70 Web cameras located across the state. Idaho 511 shares 576 phone lines with multiple states, minimizing the chance that callers might get a busy signal during winter storms. Information about winter driving conditions in states adjacent to Idaho also are available.
Idaho's voice-response 511 telephone system enables callers to check highway conditions in specific regions without pressing numbers on a key pad. Drivers are encouraged to make calls from their vehicles only when safe to do so. They should pull off the road to make cell calls or have another vehicle occupant place the call.