The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) says it's already seeing above-average snowfall on Interstate 90 this year. The department is also saying drivers not following the rules are causing the pass to shut down for everyone.
"This year and last year more than in other years we've seen people not obeying the chain-up requirements, thinking they can get over the pass on bald tires or not chaining up, and they're really the ones that kind of close it for everyone," said WSDOT spokesperson Summer Derrey.
Derrey says I-90 at the pass has already faced several closures due to driver behavior. Before taking I-90 through the pass, drivers should check conditions and follow all rules in place- for their safety and for that of other drivers.
In addition to more drivers failing to chain up when required, WSDOT has also seen above-average snowfall on I-90 so far this season, with winter seeming to hit a bit early near Snoqualmie Pass and accelerated severe weather conditions on roadways. WSDOT says it has had standard staffing for 24/7 coverage on Snoqualmie Pass since Nov. 1.
"We do what's called running a hot seat so every single piece of equipment has an operator in it at all times," Derrey said.
WSDOT says people should stay 200 feet away from plows if possible, and understand plows may need to go far slower than average traffic to make sure chemical has the time to sink in.
"If you get in a car wreck or spin out it could take some time for an ambulance or tow truck to come to you. For those reasons, it's important to obey the tire traction permits, rules of the road, slow down and be safe," Derry said.