JUNEAU, Ala.-The House approved a bill April 15 that would allow only lightweight studs on snow tires sold in Alaska. The goal is to reduce costly wear and tear on the state's roads. The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities estimates that studded tires cause $4 million in highway damage annually. It says requiring lightweight studs eventually will cut the damage in half.
Under the bill, the weight standard for studs would be based on research done in Scandinavia, which found stud weight to be a factor in road damage.
In most of southeast Alaska, it is legal to use studs from Sept. 30 until April 15. In most other parts of the state, studs are legal from Sept. 15 until May 1.
Rep. Mark Hanley, R-Anchorage, the bill's prime sponsor, said he opposes a ban on studded tires because they save lives and reduce property damage by increasing traction on icy roads.
A reduced-wear stud, however, could provide a balance between savings and public safety, he said.
The bill was approved without opposition and sent to the Senate.