Ask Joe: Why are there no chain control checkpoints on Mt. Rose Highway?
Monday's Ask Joe question: Graham Leonard wrote in asking why don't authorities monitor the Mount Rose Highway when there are chain controls to ensure all vehicles comply with the requirement?
Here's what I found out:
In the past few weeks there have been a number of spin outs and fender benders on the Mount Rose Highway. This really comes down to a staffing issue. Both NDOT and the Nevada Highway Patrol say they don't have enough people to staff a stationary checkpoint in severe weather conditions. I did check with Trooper Matt McLaughlin at the Nevada Highway Patrol about this. He says even though there are no chain checkpoints set up on Highway 431 (the Mount Rose Highway) the Highway Patrol still has troopers out there assisting motorists and they will write you a ticket if there are chain controls in effect and you do not have chains or a four wheel drive vehicle.
So it's important to pay attention to those advisories and the signs that are posted at the bottom of the highway.
McLaughlin says last Friday, March 16th, a big rig truck got stuck at the top of the Mount Rose Summit because the driver ignored the chain control signs. So that was one mess they had to deal with as a result.
It does seem like that is the type of thing that can be prevented with a stationary checkpoint but at this point neither NDOT nor the Highway Patrol say they have enough people to make that happen. So until that changes it's up to drivers to follow the rules so that you don't get stuck or cause an accident.