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Tire Chains Damage Roads When Pavement Is Bare

Temperatures for much of the Portland-area have stayed above freezing the last couple of days and most roads are clear.  But some drivers are still driving around chained up, even though the mandatory chain requirement was lifted early Monday morning. 

Pete Springer reports on why leaving chains on when the roads are clear is a bad idea.

Do chains help when there’s no snow or ice on the road?

Thompson “No, it actually cuts up the pavement.”

Dave Thompson is a spokesman for ODOT.  He says not only do chains chew up bare pavement, they can also be expensive for drivers to replace.

That’s because you generally can’t drive faster than 25 to 30 miles per hour with chains on.

Dave Thompson “You see all those broken chains on the highway?  That’s because people went too fast with chains, and it just broke them off.”

Thompson says ODOT realizes chains can be a hassle to put on and remove.

Dave Thompson “That’s why it is a pretty rare thing for us to say ‘chains required’ in the Portland- metro area highways.  We’ve done that maybe four times in the last ten years.”

He says drivers should use common sense when no chains are required.  But you should keep them in the car or have traction tires.