Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

SALEM - Oregon Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, said the Oregon Department of Transportation will compare the effectiveness of studded tires and non-studded snow tires.

Bentz, who represents Baker County, worked last year to prevent a proposed ban on studded tires in Oregon.

Bentz, who was vice chair of the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee during the 2013 session, said he met last week with ODOT officials and verified that the comparison will include a number of national and international studies comparing studded and studless snow tires on a variety of road conditions.

"For years studded snow tires have helped keep Oregonians safe, particularly those who live in the vast areas of Eastern Oregon, where hundred-mile drives in hazardous winter weather are the norm, rather than the exception," Bentz said in the press release. "People living in my district (Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur and part of Lake counties) know just how comforting it is to have studded snow tires protecting the vehicle's occupants while driving between places like Burns and Lakeview, or John Day and Baker City.

"It makes sense to see if this perception of safety is still warranted, given advances in tire technology, and, if studded tires are still a good answer to a slick road, to have updated facts to back up arguments I have used in supporting the need to keep studded tires available," Bentz said.

"This study, although certainly not exhaustive, will provide valuable information for all of us."

The ODOT study is slated to be released to the public this fall.