For many that shred the Cottonwoods, many believe one of the major issues involving traffic is that the Utah Department of Transportation (referred to hereafter as UDOT) doesn’t consistently have the local police check people’s tires before they head up.
For context, in snowy situations, 4×4 tires with either two snow tires or chains are required. When 2-wheel drive vehicles go into these situations, this leads to skidding and further traffic/congestion.
Recently, many people have called out the careless enforcement of the tire rule. Significant snowfall was expected on Sunday but was expected to start later in the day. They didn’t announce the traction law until the snow started to accumulate in the afternoon. The result was a very slow drive down for those who were at the ski resorts. Here’s UDOT’s logic for this, which was criticized by KSL Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke:
Big talker today as it looks like it will be a mess coming down the canyons… Why not require chains IN cars for travel on a forecasted snowy day? Other states do this. If you don’t have traction tires you can be pulled over and have to prove you have chains in vehicle. pic.twitter.com/l9oazbt495
— Kristen Van Dyke (@kvandykewx) February 5, 2023
Zahm, who is a popular snowboarding instructor in Utah, was waiting at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon on Monday morning, which was closed due to avalanche mitigation. When it reopened, they were not checking the tires in spite of the very slick conditions. Zahm posted a video detailing his frustration with the lack of enforcement. As someone who lived out in Utah, the frustration is definitely warranted.
Image/Video Credits: UDOT Cottonwood Canyons, Kristen Van Dyke, Zahm