Some things seem like, well, common sense but, we can all agree, they’re not always common practice. Trust me after 30 years in the fun and ever-changing automotive service business, and seeing the craziest stuff out there, especially in the winter, no truer words have ever been spoken. We’re all busy people, life stuff is 24/7, schedules get crazy and budgets get tight. Before we realize it, we forget about maintaining our vehicle like we should.

Then one day, you know it, you’re driving home in a snow storm, creating an unnecessary white-knuckle, pucker-factor for yourself and those around you because you know you’ve neglected your vehicle maintenance. Your tires are not good, your oil’s black as tar, your wipers streak badly and you’re out of washer fluid. Oh, yeah, and what’s that smell…a coolant leak? NOT GOOD!

Colorado winters are beautiful, but they can be treacherous too. Enjoy our weather with peace of mind with a vehicle that’s ready for any weather conditions; especially the bad ones. And BTW it’s ok NOT to drive when conditions are bad out there. Let common sense prevail! 

Remember too, the Colorado laws for driving in bad weather have changed this season. Here’s what you might not know about the latest traction laws (and the fines that go with them):

close up of tire driving in winter snow Pride Auto Care Denver Parker Centennial Highlands Ranch

Colorado’s Passenger Vehicle Traction & Chain Laws, from the Colorado DOT website

Traction Law (Code 15)

During an active Traction Law (also known as a Code 15), motorists must have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation, or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle.

Starting Aug. 2, 2019, the legislation updated requirements for drivers using state highways during winter months. Specifically, it changed the required minimum tire tread for vehicles on snowy roads to 3/16 of an inch. You can also install chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock) to be in compliance with the law if your tires aren’t adequate.

From Sept. 1 to May 31, the Traction Law is active on I-70 from Dotsero to Morrison. All vehicles must carry traction law equipment or be traction law compliant on this 126-mile stretch.

Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16)

During severe winter storms, CDOT will implement a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (also known as a Code 16). This is the final safety measure before the highway is closed.

When the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law is in effect, every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).


  • Motorists driving with inadequate equipment when a Passenger Vehicle Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect could be fined more than $130.
  • If a motorist blocks the roadway because he/she has inadequate equipment when a Passenger Vehicle Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect, he/she could be fined more than $650.

Remember, Pride Auto Care is here to help; that’s our mission and our reputation. If you ever need your tires checked, washer fluid topped off or just have questions about how to better maintain your car or light truck’s, stop in any one of our trusted Pride Auto Care south metro locations (or your LOCAL trusted car care center) and let us take good care of you.

You’ll always find help at Pride Auto Care—Happy Customers Driving 30 Years of Local Pride. Be safe out there.


Al Pridemore, CEO, CMO, Co-owner,
Pride Auto Care
“Happy Customers Driving 30 Years of Local Pride.”

Debbie Jackson & Darrell Pridemore
Memorial Scholarship Foundation
(a 501c3 org.)
“Helping High School Students with Their Future”