CDOT launches tire safety program, ‘Operation TireSafe’

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DENVER -- CDOT launches a program to promote tire safety after too many drivers were spinning their wheels in the High Country.

On a single day last year, CDOT found 86-percent of vehicles stranded on I-70 had bald or worn tires.

So CDOT is taking action to keep the wheels of transportation moving forward in the  mountains.

It's as common as snow in the mountains.   The flakes fall--and traffic stalls.

"We've all been stuck in those 2,3,4 hour trips home that a lot of times is caused by one person with bad tires," says ColoradoLand Tire and Service Manager Travis Wright.

It's why CDOT, together with ColoradoLand, have teamed up for Operation TireSafe.

"It's a big factor of cars stranded on the highway," ColoradoLand worker Sean Lockwood tells skiers and boarders at the base of Arapahoe Basin.

Workers educate skiers about tread depth--and how worn tires take a toll on traction.  Some skiers can relate.

"It was really nerve-wracking. So I ended up staying a whole extra day. I was late to work on Monday because I couldn't leave," says Chad Hadersbeck of Englewood, who last year got stuck in Frisco after a major storm. He says his sedan, with worn, low-profile tires, couldn’t handle the snow.

Workers, then, check tires at the entrance to the ski resort.

A female driver needs new ones.  She also needs an assist to get out of the parking lot.

ColoradoLand employees have to push her out onto the highway.

"If I had some new tires, I probably would have been good," says Sam Lassiter of Denver.

He crashed his brother’s car a few weeks ago. Duct tape now holds the hood in place.

A tire check shows the tread is starting to wear thin.

“Need to get my tires replaced,” says Nolan Lassiter. "We'll tell our parents. See what they say."

You can do these checks yourself with a simple coin. Stick a quarter into the tread, facedown. If you can see the top of the head, you need new tires.

The state's chain law standard requires a minimum of one-eighth inch tread.

CDOT hopes this awareness keeps drivers with bad tires out of the mountains, so everyone can enjoy fast smooth rides home--and not just on the mountain.

"People don't even think of their tires and the important role they play,” says Wright.

ColoradoLand is giving drivers up to $20 trade-in value for each worn tire toward the purchase of new tires.

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