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Proposed bill would take studded tires off the shelves by 2025

SPOKANE, Wash. - If you prefer to drive with studded tires during the winter, there's a bill being proposed in Olympia that you're going to want to pay attention to. If passed, House Bill 1309 would phase out studded tires in the next six years. But if you're a driver who relies on them to drive in the snow, there is another option.

"We've got your basic all-season tire, studdable snow tire, studless snow tire," said Todd Gingrich, store manager, Perfection Tire in Spokane.

If House Bill 1309 passes, you may not see studded tires in stores past 2025.

"Definitely better in deeper snow, not as good on ice - not as good as a studless tire, but still, no slouch compared to an all-season tire," Gingrich said.

While there are benefits to a studded tire, the damages it causes state roads costs about $25 million each year.

"The impact - if you look at a studded tire, it just really tears up the roads," said Beth Bousley, Washington Department of Transportation.

Beyond concrete, it's not safe for drivers either.

"Ruts in the road make it dangerous for people to continue driving, they can get in the ruts and then they can drive off the roadways," Bousley said.

The good news, however - if House Bill 1309 passes - a law that would phase out studded tires just like these ones, there are alternatives.

"Technology has come a long, long way over the years. Studless tires, for most people, are pretty good," Gingrich said.

"It has been shown that studded tires are actually only better in 1% of the road conditions is glare ice and that happens in 1% of the country," Bousley said.

Tire experts said studless snow work the same, if not, better than studded tires - depending on the environment you drive on.

"A studless snow tire is a little bit more closed up but they are absolutely full of sipes, and that's really what makes your traction on ice and slippery surfaces," Gingrich said.

If passed, fees will increase from $5 to $100 on studded tire purchases this July. Then they'd be phased out by 2025.


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