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Three areas in Washington County are "snow zones" – where traction devices are required in inclement weather. The signs say, "When Flashing Chains or Snow Tires Required." We turn on the flashing lights during periods of inclement weather to alert motorists.
The snow zones are on:
- 175th Avenue, between Scholls Ferry and Rigert roads
- Barnes Road, 118th Avenue east to the County line, adjacent to a city of Portland snow zone
- Cornell Road, Cedar Hills Boulevard east to the County line
These areas have high elevations and steep grades. During icy and snowy weather conditions, vehicles without traction devices are more likely to be involved in crashes or have difficulty driving on slick surfaces.
We require traction devices in these areas to improve safety and limit crashes. These devices also help cut down on the number of abandoned vehicles, allowing us to plow and sand roads more quickly.
Snow zones are identified by signs in accordance with ODOT sign standards.
Snow zone violations are normally treated as a "secondary offense," meaning citations are issued when law enforcement sees travelers disobeying other traffic laws or driving unsafely. Travelers involved in crashes, or who own abandoned vehicles without traction devices, could also receive citations. The citations carry fines of up to $880, plus towing costs.
Some vehicles are exempt from the traction devices requirement under ORS 815.145.