With winter weather hanging on longer than usual, the departments of transportation in Oregon and Washington have extended the studded tire season. In Oregon, the usual April 1 deadline to remove studded tires has been pushed back to April 4; In Washington, drivers have until April 7.
Officials in both states said they extended the deadlines based on weather forecasts calling for “difficult driving conditions in some snow zones” during the next few days.
At the same time, citizen activist Jeff Bernards’ signature drive to get a studded-tire ban on the 2012 ballot is expected to start soon, according to local reports.
Bernards recently submitted 1,970 signatures to the Secretary of State office and is now waiting for the signatures to be validated and to allow for the comment period, Bernards wrote on his website, BanStuddedTires.com. “Barring any problems, we should be able to start gathering the necessary 80,000 valid signatures, within the next month,” he wrote.
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, tire studs cause more than $40 million in damage to roads statewide. However, since 1974, all proposals to ban the tires have not passed the state legislature.