Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety
6/23/2024

Article 9. Brakes.

§ 46.2-1066. Brakes.

Every motor vehicle when driven on a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movements of and to stop and hold such vehicle. The brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall conform to the provisions of this article.

Every bicycle, electric power-assisted bicycle, and moped, when operated on a highway, shall be equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. Every electric personal assistive mobility device, when operated on a highway, shall be equipped with a system that, when activated or engaged, will enable the operator to bring the device to a controlled stop.

Code 1950, § 46-283; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-277; 1974, c. 347; 1981, c. 585; 1989, c. 727; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254.

§ 46.2-1067. Within what distances brakes should stop vehicle.

On a dry, hard, approximately level stretch of highway free from loose material, the service braking system shall be capable of stopping a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles at all times and under all conditions of loading at a speed of 20 miles per hour within the following distances:

1. Passenger motor vehicles, except buses and antique vehicles, 25 feet.

2. Buses, trucks, and tractor trucks, 40 feet.

3. Motor vehicles registered or qualified to be registered as antique vehicles, when equipped with two-wheel brakes, 45 feet; four-wheel brakes, 25 feet.

4. All combinations of vehicles, 40 feet.

5. Motorcycles or autocycles, 30 feet.

Code 1950, § 46-284; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-278; 1968, c. 164; 1970, c. 28; 1972, c. 3; 1989, c. 727; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1068. Emergency or parking brakes.

Every motor vehicle and combination of vehicles, except motorcycles or autocycles, shall be equipped with emergency or parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle or vehicles on any grade on which it is operated, under all conditions of loading on a surface free from snow, ice, or loose material.

1968, c. 164, § 46.1-278.1; 1989, c. 727; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1069. Brakes on motorcycles.

Every motorcycle manufactured after July 1, 1974, and driven on a highway in the Commonwealth shall be equipped with either a split-service brake system or two independently actuated brake systems which shall act on the front as well as the rear wheel or wheels.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on a highway in the Commonwealth a motorcycle which was originally equipped with a brake system on both the front or rear wheel or wheels if the brake system has been altered by removing or disconnecting any of the brake-system components from any of the wheels.

1974, c. 219, § 46.1-279.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1070. Brakes on trailers.

Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in § 46.2-1067 and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent. Farm trailers used exclusively for hauling raw agricultural produce from farm to farm or farm to packing shed or processing plant within the normal growing area of the packing shed or processing plant and trailers or semitrailers drawn by a properly licensed motor vehicle but exempt from registration, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.

"Gross weight" for the purpose of this section includes weight of the vehicle and the load upon such semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle.

This section shall not apply to any vehicle being towed for repairs, repossession, in an emergency, or being moved by a tow truck when two wheels of the towed vehicle are off the ground.

Code 1950, § 46-286; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-280; 1959, Ex. Sess., cc. 21, 90; 1962, c. 313; 1966, c. 654; 1968, c. 164; 1970, c. 169; 1989, c. 727; 2006, cc. 874, 891.

§ 46.2-1071. Requirements for parking.

No person having control of a motor vehicle shall allow such vehicle to stand on any highway unattended without first effectively setting the emergency or parking brake thereon, stopping the motor, and turning the front wheels into the curb or side of the roadway.

Code 1950, § 46-287; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-281; 1989, c. 727.