California Department of Transportation

Road Information - Winter Driving Tips - Snow and Ice Control

Before driving, check with the Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN) 800.427.7623

Snow Removal


"Snow removal and ice control shall be performed as necessary in order to facilitate the movement and safety of public traffic and shall be done in accordance with the best management practices outlined herein with particular emphasis given to environmentally sensitive areas."

Adopted July 1992.  Outlined in Caltrans Report to the Legislature in response to Chapter 318, Statutes of 1991 (Hauser), "The Use of Deicing Chemicals on California State Highways", July 1992."


Snow and ice control is important on every mountainous route within California; however, certain routes carry heavy seasonal recreational traffic as well as high volumes of truck traffic. These routes require extensive snow-fighting activity to keep open during heavy snow storms.

Chain Controls

High Mountain Passes

Chain controls are generally used during snowstorms and usually end soon after the end of the storm. However, with sunshine, the snow and ice pack will begin to melt resulting in slush on the pavement that is difficult to negotiate without tire chains.