>ODOT officials are reinforcing the idea that rather than using studded tires, other legal traction devices are available that can do the job better and cause less damage to the state's highways
It is now legal to use studded tires in Oregon, but ODOT is encouraging motorists to consider other types of traction tires or devices instead.
   Doug Tindall, Oregon Department of Transportation Maintenance Engineer said the damage caused by studded tires is extensive. "Oregon spends about $11 million a year fixing studded tire damage. Anything drivers can do to reduce that amount of damage is money that can be spent elsewhere on the road system," he said.
   Other types of tires are available to drivers to use as a traction tire instead of studded tires. These traction tires meet the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) definition as suitable for use in severe snow conditions. They can be identified by the special symbol on the tire sidewall showing a three-peaked mountain and a snowflake.
   The RMA definition requires that the tires demonstrate increased traction in severe winter conditions. Research show that these tires can also provide better traction than studded tires when used on bare pavement.
   For additional information about Oregon's chain law, traction tires and minimum chain requirements, check out the information under "winter travel" heading at ODOT's travel information website, The website also provides up-to-date road and weather information, incidents, traffic delays and links to live cameras on many mountain passes and major routes. There is a link to this page from the Central Oregonian's website, also.
   Another source of current weather information and road conditions report is the report provided by ODOT. Callers in the state can use the toll-free line at 1-800-977-6368. Outside Oregon, callers can access the report at 1-503-588-2941. Reports are available around the clock.
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