SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Potential snow this weekend may have drivers thinking about getting their winter tires. It’s one reason the Utah Department of Transportation kicked off their sticker program Thursday to help drivers to get tires inspected early before they need them looked at to drive up the canyons.
“It’s a nice day today, a sunny day, but this weekend that will change and then people will start adventuring up to the mountains. People get powder-hungry, ski crazy. This is a good reminder to get ready for winter and start checking out your tires,” said Jake Brown, a UDOT Operations Supervisor.
Thursday, vehicles were lined up at UDOT’s Cottonwoods Maintenance Shed as part of their sticker program to have their tires pre-inspected for winter driving conditions.
UDOT said when people have the correct tires, it helps prevent slide-offs, delays and keeps everyone safer. That’s why they have expanded the program to include three additional inspection partners — Burt Brothers Tire and Service, Big O Tires and CJ’s Pit Stop — and three rental vehicle agencies, which are Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National, Alamo and Rugged Rental. This addition allows them to offer 28 vehicle inspection locations this year, making it easier for people to get their tires checked at a time that is best for them.
“We have a lot of people that will come up that are ill-informed and they slow down the traffic. It’s like an accordion effect. You get person that has bad tires trying to make it up the canyon and it could cause up 45 [minutes] to an hour delay,” said Brown.
In order to qualify for a sticker, a vehicle must meet the following requirements:
- 4WD/AWD Vehicles: 3PMSF or M+S tires with a tread depth of 5/32 minimum
- 2WD/FWD Vehicles: 3PMSF tires on all wheels with a tread depth of 5/32 or proof of chains (Chains must be in vehicle during time of inspection.)
UDOT said they’re expecting about 8 to 10 inches of snow in the mountains this weekend — and with the winter season coming up, they said it’s a good time to not only check your tires, but all parts of your car.
“It’s important for all of us to be prepared, make sure that our tires are ready to go, windshield wipers and just that our vehicles are equipped to drive in these winter conditions,” said John Gleason, a spokesperson with UDOT.
UDOT’s sticker program will run until February 28, 2023.They said it’s important to note that having a sticker does not guarantee access to the canyons, but it confirms the vehicle’s tires meet the required equipment standards when the traction law is in effect. They added that having a sticker is not a requirement for going up the canyons.
UDOT said they also want to inform drivers that Guardsman Pass will be closed this Saturday, and depending on how much snow they get, it may be closed until the end of the year.