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Old 02-23-2021, 12:57 PM   #1
Alan_Hepburn's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycles: 1994 GL1500SE
Towing a car

There is an interesting conversation going on right now on an RV web forum I go to, regarding towing vehicles and whether or not the towed vehicle needs to have a braking system. Most of the respondents agree that whether or not it's required by law it's certainly a good idea. But there's one person (isn't there always!) who is adamant that the CVC specifically exempts towed vehicles with the following:
26458. (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: (11007)

(1) The towing vehicle is required to be equipped with power brakes. (11008)

(2) The towed vehicle is required to be equipped with brakes and is equipped with power brakes. (11009)

(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. (11010)

(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: (11011)

(1) Vehicles engaged in driveaway-towaway operations. (11012)

(2) Disabled vehicles, while being towed. (11013)

(3) Towed motor vehicles. (11014)

(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. (11015)
Their argument is that 26458(c)(3) specifically exempts towed motor vehicles. Surprisingly they admit that they received a ticket for not having brakes and took it to court. The original court case found them guilty, as did 3 appellate courts but they still maintain they are right and all the judges are wrong.

So, I'm just wondering: any CHP folks here care to weigh in - does the CVC really exempt cars being towed behind an RV from having a working brake system, or is this guy a sore loser?
Alan Hepburn - Proud to be a Blue Star Family
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