CHP Blasts Drivers For Leaving ‘Mountain of Chains’ Strewn Along Snowy Roadways

Gold Run, CA — Officials with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Gold Run are blasting drivers for leaving tire chains strewn across snowy roadways.

In a photo posted to Facebook, CHP said the “mountain of chains” was courtesy of motorists who “probably should have practiced putting chains on correctly before trying to do it on a cold, dark, snowy freeway.”


CHP went on to explain that the lost chains “pose a hazard” to California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) snow removal workers and equipment — snow blowers, in particular — during and after snow storms.

“So make sure you know how to install chains before you get to the point where you need them,” CHP advised.

According to CalTrans, California does not have any specific dates when vehicles are required to carry chains.

When the road is posted with a sign requiring chains, all heavy-duty vehicles (over 6,500 lbs. gross weight) must be equipped with chains mounted on the tires in order to proceed, CalTrans alerts.


Depending on the severity of road conditions, some vehicles (such as passenger cars and 4-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires) may not be required to install chains at that point, and exceptions will be posted on road signs.

On any semi-trailer, only one set of chains is required, regardless of number of axles.

Click HERE for more CalTrans chain requirements.

Chains are most often required in the higher mountain passes of northern California, such as Interstate 5 north of Redding, Interstate 80 over Donner Pass between Sacramento and Reno, Nevada, and U.S. Highway 50 over Echo summit between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.


Chains are also sometimes required on State Route 58 near Tehachapi between Bakersfield and Mojave, Interstate 15 over Cajon Pass between Victorville and San Bernardino, and Interstate 5 over Tejon Pass between Los Angeles and Bakersfield.

However, snow can fall unseasonably at higher elevations at many locations within California.

Chains may be required at any time at these higher elevations when conditions warrant, the Department stated.

Motorists are advised to check the Caltrans website for current road conditions.

You may also call the CalTrans road information number at (800) 427-7623.

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