Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42 Vehicles and Traffic § 42-4-223 Brakes

(1) Brake equipment required:

(a) Every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such vehicle, including two separate means of applying the brakes, each of which means shall be effective to apply the brakes to at least two wheels.  If these 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) Every motorcycle and low-power scooter, when operated upon a highway, shall be equipped with at least one brake, which may be operated by hand or foot.

(c) Every trailer or semitrailer of a gross weight of three thousand pounds or more, when operated upon a highway, shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold such vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from the cab, and said brakes shall be so designed and connected that in case of an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle the brakes shall be automatically applied.  The provisions of this paragraph (c) shall not be applicable to any trailer which does not meet the definition of “commercial vehicle” as that term is defined in section 42-4-235(1)(a) and which is owned by a farmer when transporting agricultural products produced on the owner's farm or supplies back to the farm of the owner of the trailer, tank trailers not exceeding ten thousand pounds gross weight used solely for transporting liquid fertilizer or gaseous fertilizer under pressure, or distributor trailers not exceeding ten thousand pounds gross weight used solely for transporting and distributing dry fertilizer when hauled by a truck capable of stopping within the distance specified in subsection (2) of this section.

(d) Every motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer constructed or sold in this state or operated upon the highways shall be equipped with service brakes upon all wheels of every such vehicle;  except that:

(I) Any trailer or semitrailer of less than three thousand pounds gross weight, or any horse trailer of a capacity of two horses or less, or any trailer which does not meet the definition of “commercial vehicle” as that term is defined in section 42-4-235(1)(a) and which is owned by a farmer when transporting agricultural products produced on the owner's farm or supplies back to the farm of the owner of the trailer, or tank trailers not exceeding ten thousand pounds gross weight used solely for transporting liquid fertilizer or gaseous fertilizer under pressure, or distributor trailers not exceeding ten thousand pounds gross weight used solely for transporting and distributing dry fertilizer when hauled by a truck capable of stopping with loaded trailer attached in the distance specified by subsection (2) of this section need not be equipped with brakes, and any two-wheel motor vehicle need have brakes on only one wheel.

(II) Any truck or truck tractor, manufactured before July 25, 1980, and having three or more axles, need not have brakes on the wheels of the front or tandem steering axles if the brakes on the other wheels meet the performance requirements of subsection (2) of this section.

(III) Every trailer or semitrailer of three thousand pounds or more gross weight must have brakes on all wheels.

(e) Provisions of this subsection (1) shall not apply to manufactured homes.

(2) Performance ability of brakes:

(a) The service brakes upon any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be adequate to stop such vehicle when traveling twenty miles per hour within a distance of forty feet when upon dry asphalt or concrete pavement surface free from loose material where the grade does not exceed one percent.

(b) Under the conditions stated in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the hand brakes shall be adequate to stop such vehicle within a distance of fifty-five feet, and said hand brake shall be adequate to hold such vehicle stationary on any grade upon which operated.

(c) Under the conditions stated in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the service brakes upon a motor vehicle equipped with two-wheel brakes only, when permitted under this section, shall be adequate to stop the vehicle within a distance of fifty-five feet.

(d) All braking distances specified in this section shall apply to all vehicles mentioned, whether such vehicles are not loaded or are loaded to the maximum capacity permitted under this title.

(e) All brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall be so adjusted as to operate as equally as possible with respect to the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle.

(2.5) The department of public safety is specifically authorized to adopt rules relating to the use of surge brakes.

(3) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.


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