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Searching 2018 Special Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 013 : OPERATION OF VEHICLES

Subchapter 014 : EQUIPMENT

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1307)
  • § 1307. Brake equipment required

    (a) Every motor vehicle, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such vehicle, including two separate means of applying the brakes to at least two wheels. If those two separate means of applying the brakes are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part of the operating mechanism shall not leave the motor vehicle without brakes on at least two wheels.

    (b) Motorcycles and motor-driven cycles need only to be equipped with at least one brake which may be operated by hand or foot.

    (c) Farm-type tractors and motorized highway building equipment required to be registered need not have brakes on the wheels of the front axle.

    (d) Trucks and truck-tractors having three or more axles:

    (1) manufactured before July 25, 1980 need not have brakes on the front wheels;

    (2) manufactured between July 24, 1980 and October 27, 1986, if any brake components have been removed, must be retrofitted to replace any brake components so that the vehicle meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, within one year of May 16, 1990;

    (3) manufactured with at least two steerable axles, shall have brakes on at least one steerable axle, except that any such vehicle manufactured after July 1, 1992, shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels.

    (e) Trailers, semi-trailers, trailer coaches, or pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 pounds need not have brakes provided the total weight on, and including, the wheels of the trailer, semi-trailer, or pole trailer shall not exceed 40 percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer, semi-trailer, or pole trailer.

    (f) Every trailer, semi-trailer, or trailer coach of a gross weight of more than 3,000 pounds but less than 6,000 pounds when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes on the wheels of at least one axle, adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab. The brakes shall be so designed and connected that in case of an accidental break-away of the towed vehicle, the brake thereon shall be automatically applied, and remain applied for not less than 15 minutes.

    (g) Every trailer, semi-trailer, or trailer coach of a gross weight of 6,000 pounds, or more, when operated upon the highways of this State, shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab. The brakes shall be so designed and connected that in case of an accidental break-away of the towed vehicle, the brakes thereon shall be automatically applied and remain applied for not less than 15 minutes.

    (h) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a farm trailer with a load which exceeds 3,000 pounds, nor to a motor vehicle manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1931, if the vehicle has brakes on at least two wheels, nor to a trailer coach with two or three axles with a gross weight in excess of 6,000 pounds manufactured prior to January 1, 1977, provided there are brakes on the wheels on one axle of a two-axle trailer coach and brakes on the wheels of two axles of a three-axle trailer coach. (Added 1963, No. 206, § 2; amended 1975, No. 213 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 1, 1976; 1979, No. 46, § 3, eff. April 26, 1979; 1979, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 9, 1980; 1989, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 16, 1990; 1991, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2001, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2015, No. 47, § 31.)