Article 2. Operation Of Brakes of California Vehicle Code >> Division 12. >> Chapter 3. >> Article 2.
Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a service brake
system and every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be
equipped with a parking brake system. Both the service brake and
parking brake shall be separately applied.
If the two systems are connected in any way, they shall be so
constructed that failure of any one part, except failure in the
drums, brakeshoes, or other mechanical parts of the wheel brake
assemblies, shall not leave the motor vehicle without operative
The parking brake system of every motor vehicle shall comply
with the following requirements:
(a) The parking brake shall be adequate to hold the vehicle or
combination of vehicles stationary on any grade on which it is
operated under all conditions of loading on a surface free from snow,
ice or loose material. In any event the parking brake shall be
capable of locking the braked wheels to the limit of traction.
(b) The parking brake shall be applied either by the driver's
muscular efforts, by spring action, or by other energy which is
isolated and used exclusively for the operation of the parking brake
or the combination parking brake and emergency stopping system.
(c) The parking brake shall be held in the applied position solely
by mechanical means.
All motor vehicles shall be so equipped as to permit
application of the brakes at least once for the purpose of bringing
the vehicle to a stop within the legal stopping distance after the
engine has become inoperative.
All brakes and component parts thereof shall be maintained
in good condition and in good working order. The brakes shall be so
adjusted as to operate as equally as practicable with respect to the
wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle.
(a) The service brakes of every motor vehicle or combination
of vehicles shall be adequate to control the movement of and to stop
and hold such vehicle or combination of vehicles under all
conditions of loading on any grade on which it is operated.
(b) Every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, at any time
and under all conditions of loading, shall, upon application of the
service brake, be capable of stopping from an initial speed of 20
miles per hour according to the following requirements:
(1) Any passenger vehicle ....... 25
(2) Any single motor vehicle
with a manufacturer's gross
vehicle weight rating of less
than 10,000 lbs. ................ 30
(3) Any combination of vehicles
consisting of a
passenger vehicle or any motor
vehicle with a
manufacturer's gross vehicle
weight rating of
less than 10,000 lbs. in
combination with any
trailer, semitrailer or trailer
coach ........................... 40
(4) Any single motor vehicle
with a manufacturer's gross
vehicle weight rating of 10,000
lbs. or more or
any bus ......................... 40
(5) All other combinations of
vehicles ........................ 50
In respect to any motor vehicle designed, used or maintained
primarily for the transportation of property which is not equipped
with a plate or marker showing the manufacturer's gross vehicle
weight rating, for purposes of stopping distance requirements, the
weight of a vehicle shall be determined as follows:
(a) Any motor vehicle having less than six wheels is the
equivalent of a vehicle having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight
rating of less than 10,000 pounds.
(b) Any motor vehicle having six wheels or more is the equivalent
of a vehicle having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of
10,000 pounds or more.
Stopping distance requirement tests shall be conducted on a
substantially level, dry, smooth, hard-surfaced road that is free
from loose material and where the grade does not exceed plus or minus
1 percent. Stopping distance shall be measured from the instant
brake controls are moved and from an initial speed of approximately
20 miles per hour. No test of brake performance shall be made upon a
highway at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour.
Special mobile equipment, logging vehicles, equipment
operated under special permit, and any chassis without body or load
are not subject to stopping distance requirements, but if any such
vehicle or equipment cannot be stopped within 32 feet from an initial
speed of 15 miles per hour, it shall not be operated at a speed in
excess of that permitting a stop in 32 feet.
(a) The braking system on every motor vehicle used to tow
another vehicle shall be so arranged that one control on the towing
vehicle shall, when applied, operate all the service brakes on the
power unit and combination of vehicles when either or both of the
following conditions exist:
(1) The towing vehicle is required to be equipped with power
(2) The towed vehicle is required to be equipped with brakes and
is equipped with power brakes.
(b) Subdivision (a) shall not be construed to prohibit motor
vehicles from being equipped with an additional control to be used to
operate the brakes on the trailer or trailers.
(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following
combinations of vehicles, if the combination of vehicles meets the
stopping distance requirements of Section 26454:
(1) Vehicles engaged in driveaway-towaway operations.
(2) Disabled vehicles, while being towed.
(3) Towed motor vehicles.
(4) Trailers equipped with inertially controlled brakes which are
designed to be applied automatically upon breakaway from the towing
vehicle and which are capable of stopping and holding the trailer
stationary for not less than 15 minutes.
Pursuant to Section 26458, whenever a motor vehicle is
equipped with an additional control to operate the brakes on a
trailer, that control shall not be used in lieu of the service brake
control, except in the case of failure of the service brake system.