Those signs that say 'Chains required - all vehicles except AWD/4WD' don't tell whole story

SEATTLE - Attention four-wheel driver owners: We want to save you a really infuriating ticket.

The Washington State Patrol says those signs on the passes that say "Chains required - all vehicles except AWD/4WD" don't tell the whole story.

It turns out, even four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive owners can rack up a hefty fee if they don't have chains. (Here's some tips on installing them.)

According to trooper Brian Moore, even four-wheel drive owners are required to at least have chains in their vehicle when that sign is in play. The reasoning is that if conditions change while you're on the pass, and chains become required for all vehicles, you'll need to have them with you to make it out safely.

If you're driving a four-wheel drive in those conditions and get pulled over, there's a $136 fine if you don't have chains with you.

That's not as bad as failing to chain up when it's required, which draws a $500 fine.

Don't blame Trooper Moore, by the way; here's the law in question.