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Studs grind away

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If you haven’t switched out your studded snow tires, you are late. The deadline was April 1. Of course, that deadline is too late to avoid the $17.8 million to $124 million in damage that studded tires inflict on Washington highways ... every year. You can stand on any busy street corner in mid-winter and hear them grinding on the iceless pavement. You can see the result.

This has been a long-standing issue, because technology has made studded tires increasingly pointless, and the deteriorating state of our highways makes their destruction all the more costly. Bills in the Legislature to require a studded tire license fee to offset this expense, although more than fair, go nowhere. There is a brief hearing in the Transportation Committee before they are forgotten. The emotional attachment to steel spikes is strong.

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