California Vehicle Code
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 brakes.
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 pas-
senger vehicle or any motor vehicle with a manu-
facturer'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 brakes.
(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.