Studded tire deadline getting less serious for visitor

The in basket: Hillary Chisdal has a problem.

“I know Washington state law requires snow tires to be removed by April 1 or drivers risk a $125 ticket,” she said the first week in April. “(But) I am from a state where snow tires are legal until April 30 and will be in the Seattle area for another month for a rotation before I am able to make it back to my home state where my non-studded tires reside.

“I am not a Washington resident and thus still have a license plate from my home state. If I am pulled over will I be allowed a grace period during my time in Washington given these circumstances or is that not customary?

“I could consider buying new tires in this area if necessary to avoid an infraction that will cost money,” she said, “but would rather avoid doing that. Any advice?”

The out basket: This spring has been so cold the April 1 deadline has been extended three times and now is April 25. Hillary stands a better chance of getting out of the state without a police officer stopping her for having studs on her tires than if she were to be in violation for a whole month.

There is no official leniency for her situation.

Krista Hedstrom of the State Patrol here says, “No, the vehicle must still meet Washington State standards regardless of where it is registered.  Keeping in mind, there is always officer discretion – but yes, a $124 ticket could be issued after the … deadline.”

Hillary didn’t say how far away her normal tires are, so she may have to inquire about the deadlines and rules in other states she has to cross to get home in calculating her risk of being ticketed – perhaps more than once.

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