Fines for Oregon tire chain law violations to double

September 21, 2021

Tyson Fisher


Winter is just beyond the horizon, which means it is time to bust out those tire chains. It will cost truckers more money in Oregon if they do not.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will be increasing fines for truckers who fail to use tire chains when required. ODOT made the announcement on Sept. 20 as the state begins preparations for colder weather.

Specifically, truckers who violate Oregon’s tire chain laws will have to pay $880 beginning Sept. 25. However, the costs can increase if the chainless truck crashes into another vehicle. Before the increase, the fine was $440, which was an increase from the Class C violation of $165 before 2017.

Increased fines are part of HB3055, which was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown in July. The bill modifies, adds and repeals several transportation laws. It passed the House and the Senate entirely down party lines.

According to an ODOT news release, the cost of delays as a result of trucks failing to follow Oregon tire chain laws is more than $8 million a year. That includes costs to the motor carrier and other highway users.

Oregon’s tire chain law

Oregon’s law applies to all highways in the state. Signs will tell drivers when they are required to carry chains and when they are required to use them. You will need to have six chains on hand to comply in Oregon.

You have a few options for which tires you are required to chain on the tractor:

  • A tandem-drive-axle tractor must have chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle (in other words, all four tires of the main axle).
  • If both axles are powered, one tire on each side of each drive axle (again, four chains total required – you just don’t have to chain the inside tires).

Chains must also be placed on two tires, one on each side, of any axle on the trailer. The chains can be both on the front axle, both on the rear axle or staggered with one outside tire on the front and the outside tire of the opposite rear axle.

Be on the lookout for the October issue of Land Line Magazine for this year’s chain law roundup. In the meantime, check out the 2020 OOIDA Chain Law Roundup hereLL

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.