Studded tires legal on Idaho's highways beginning Oct. 1

Drivers can once again use studded tires on Idaho roadways beginning Oct. 1, the Idaho Transportation Department announced.

Idaho state law allows the use of studded tires Oct. 1 - April 30 each year. Driving with studded tires outside of that timeframe is a non-moving equipment violation with a fine of $67, according to the Idaho State Police.

Because studded tires can damage Idaho highways, drivers are encouraged to use non-studded traction tires or delay the use of studded tires until necessary. Studded tires are snow tires with small metal cleats embedded in the tread for greater traction.

Research shows that studded tires are more effective than all-weather tires on icy roads, but are less effective in most other conditions because they may reduce contact between the road and the tire. 

Studless traction tires that meet Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for use in severe snow conditions carry a special symbol on the tire sidewall. The symbol depicts a three-peaked mountain and snowflake.

Studded tire laws vary in neighboring states. Authorized start and stop dates, which can be extended based on conditions, are:

  • Montana: Oct. 1 - May 31
  • Nevada: Oct. 1 - April 30
  • Utah: Oct. 15 - March 31
  • Oregon: Nov. 1 - March 31 
  • Washington: Nov. 1 - March 31 
  • Wyoming: Legal all year

Published 9-26-14