The Washington State Department of Transportation on Tuesday extended the deadline to remove studded tires to April 25.
The deadline was extended because forecasts call for possible winter driving conditions across mountain passes and in higher elevations.
“Winter is not quite over in the mountains,” said Chris Christopher, WSDOT director of maintenance operations. “We have had close to 4 feet of snow in the mountains since April 1, and forecasts call for 1 to 2 feet more through the end of next week.”
Spring weather has arrived in the lowlands, so those who do not plan on traveling over mountain passes are urged to remove their studded tires now, Christopher said.
Studded tires are allowed from Nov. 1 to March 31 unless officials grant an extension.
This marks the third extension of the deadline this year.
Those who do not remove studded tires by the deadline are subject to traffic infractions from law enforcement.
WSDOT officials said vehicles with studded tires cause damage to roads and require a longer stopping distance than vehicles with normal tires when snow is not present.
Fuel spill prompts search for driver
Police are looking for a driver who lost as much as 100 gallons of diesel fuel on a busy Spokane Valley road Tuesday.
Fuel began spilling from a vehicle in the southbound lanes of 2400 N. Sullivan Road just before 9:25 a.m.
The trail of diesel continued south and into the left turn lane for Euclid Avenue, then about two blocks eastbound on Euclid.
Police believe the driver stopped there to fix the leak but did not report the spill to police “leaving a quarter-mile-long mess for officers and firefighters to eliminate,” Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release.
Lanes of Sullivan Road were closed while crews tried to clean up the mess.
Police don’t know if the culprit vehicle was a commercial truck or a jury-rigged vehicle used to steal fuel from construction sites, which has occurred several times recently, Reagan said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
Meghann M. Cuniff