Letters to the Editor

Letter: Stud solutions

Recognizing the damage tire studs do to our roads every year, my family hasn’t used studded tires in many years. I’ll bet most of us have experienced the rush of hydroplaning in the ruts created by studs on our roads.

In 1992, I introduced a bill referring to the hardness of studs. I did not receive one hearing, partly because the use of studs was firmly established in Alaska’s population. None of my fellow legislators picked up this bill as they did with a number of my other submissions.

Simply stated, the bill used the 10-point metal hardness scale and required studs in Alaska to be two points below the hardness of asphalt. Research in Canada showed that these studs lasted two to three years before they needed to be replaced. Another locale was using hard rubber or rubber-plastic combination studs, with the same results.

I’m not sure how many Alaska drivers realize the current technology used in manufacturing mud and snow tires. There have been great performance enhancements. Let’s look at the cost distribution. The state spends millions of dollars a year repairing the damage studs do to the roads. For drivers who use studs — and many of us don’t, as we enjoy the quieter ride — the cost would be around $50 every three years to re-stud four tires. To me, this seems fair and much, much less expensive.

In any case, most Alaskans know that especially during the winter, we drive defensively.

— Dave Choquette


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