Oregon legislators are gearing up to take on the issue of studded tires once again, as two Democratics have separate bills calling for imposing additional fees on tire dealers who sell or install studded tires. Citing damage to roads attributed to the safety devices, the Representatives believe that users should pay more for the privilege of safely arriving at their destinations in inclement weather, and perennial nanny Mitch Greenlick of Portland wants users to have to obtain a permit to deploy such tires, as well.
Both Representatives believe that chains or technologies now used in production of all-weather tires are sufficient for navigating hilly roads in icy conditions; others believe that studded tires provide the best traction under such conditions, although chains and all-weather tires are generally adequate in simple snow.
Chains are problematic because they're difficult for many people to install - particularly those with infirmities - and even when properly installed, one broken link can result in thousands of dollars in repair costs as the now loose end bangs around the wheel well and fender.
Moreover, proper installation in freezing weather may leave some drivers scratching their heads: I once encountered a woman whose car was spinning merrily along - going nowhere - on a frozen Terwilliger off-ramp. Oh, she had chains installed, all right. But her car was a front-wheel drive model.
Without delving into speculation regarding her sex life, it seemed clear that she could have used some good studs.