PORTLAND, Ore. – The wheels are in motion to get studded tires off Oregon roads.
An effort is underway to get a studded tire ban on the 2012 ballot because of the damage they cause to the asphalt.
Jeff Bernards is spearheading the effort. He said he just got permission to start collecting signatures.
“I think the first thing to fixing our roads is to quit wrecking them,” Bernards said.
Bernards said he’s tired of driving on ruined roads and exhausted by lawmakers who won’t do anything about them.
The Oregon Department of Transportation says studded tires cause $50 million in damage every year and the department can only afford to fix $11 million.
“They create that rut water fills in, can ice up, you can hydroplane on them and creates wear and tear on the road we then have to replace,” said ODOT spokesman Dave Thompson.
Thompson said asphalt roads in Portland have to be resurfaced twice as often as they should, and that’s with only ten percent of Portland drivers using studded tires.
The initiative would not ban all winter tires, just tires with studs.
Bernards needs 80,000 signatures to get it on the 2012 ballot. He’ll start collecting those in two weeks.
“Certain industries’ business model is burdening me with inferior roads and a big bill to fix those roads and I think it’s unfair a majority of us who don’t use the product are ending up paying for it and driving on bad roads,” said Bernards.