Law:Division 13. Towing And Loading Equipment (California)

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Chapter 1. Towing Equipment

Ca Codes (veh:29000-29009) Vehicle Code Section 29000-29009



29000. Unless specified, this chapter does not apply to tow trucks or to the drawbar or other connection between a motor vehicle and a pole or pipe dolly or logging dolly or to any lawful trailer used as a pole or pipe dolly.

29001. The upper and lower halves of every fifth wheel connecting device on any semitrailer and truck-tractor or auxiliary dolly shall be securely affixed to the vehicles to prevent shifting of the device on the vehicle to which it is attached.


29002. Every fifth wheel mechanism, including adapters, shall be equipped with a locking device which will not permit the upper and lower halves to be separated without the operation of a positive manual release. The manual release shall be designed, installed, and maintained so that it cannot be accidentally operated. Automatic locking devices on fifth wheels designed and constructed to be readily separable are required on any vehicle first required to be registered in this state after January 1, 1954.


29003. (a) Every hitch or coupling device used as a means of attaching the towed and towing vehicles shall be properly and securely mounted and be structurally adequate for the weight drawn. The mounting of the hitch or coupling device on the towing and towed vehicle shall include sufficient reinforcement or bracing of the frame to provide sufficient strength and rigidity to prevent undue distortion of the frame. (b) The drawbar, tongue, or other connection between the towing and towed vehicles shall be securely attached and structurally adequate for the weight drawn. (c) The raised end of any motor vehicle being transported by another motor vehicle using a tow dolly shall be secured to the tow dolly by two separate chains, cables, or equivalent devices adequate to prevent shifting or separation of the towed vehicle and the tow dolly.

29004. (a) (1) Except as required under paragraph (2), a towed vehicle shall be coupled to the towing vehicle by means of a safety chain, cable, or equivalent device in addition to the regular drawbar, tongue, or other connection. (2) A vehicle towed by a tow truck shall be coupled to the tow truck by means of at least two safety chains in addition to the primary restraining system. The safety chains shall be securely affixed to the truck frame, bed, or towing equipment, independent of the towing sling, wheel lift, or under-reach towing equipment. (3) A vehicle transported on a slide back carrier or conventional trailer shall be secured by at least four tiedown chains, straps, or an equivalent device, independent of the winch or loading cable. This subdivision does not apply to vehicle bodies that are being transported in compliance with Sections 393.100 to 393.136, inclusive, of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. (b) All safety connections and attachments shall be of sufficient strength to control the towed vehicle in the event of failure of the regular hitch, coupling device, drawbar, tongue, or other connection. All safety connections and attachments also shall have a positive means of ensuring that the safety connection or attachment does not become dislodged while in transit. (c) No more slack may be left in a safety chain, cable, or equivalent device than is necessary to permit proper turning. When a drawbar is used as the towing connection, the safety chain, cable, or equivalent device shall be connected to the towed and towing vehicle and to the drawbar so as to prevent the drawbar from dropping to the ground if the drawbar fails. (d) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a semitrailer having a connecting device composed of a fifth wheel and kingpin assembly, and do not apply to a towed motor vehicle when steered by a person who holds a license for the type of vehicle being towed. (e) For purposes of this section, a "tow truck" includes both of the following: (1) A repossessor's tow vehicle, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 615. (2) An automobile dismantler's tow vehicle, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 615. (f) A vehicle towed by a repossessor's tow vehicle, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 615, is exempt from the multisafety chain requirement of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) so long as the vehicle is not towed more than one mile on a public highway and is secured by one safety chain.


29004.5. No recreational vehicle, as described in Section 18010.5 of the Health and Safety Code, designed to be towed, shall be manufactured for sale in this state, sold, offered for sale, leased, or rented unless it is equipped with a safety connection in compliance with Section 29004 with breaking strength which equals or exceeds the gross weight of the towed vehicle. The retail seller, renter, or lessor shall supply instructions to the purchaser, renter, or lessee of such recreational vehicle on proper methods of making the connection between the towed and towing vehicles. Nothing in this section shall, however, require a lessor of a recreational vehicle to supply to the lessee of such vehicle the required instructions if such vehicle is sold to the lessor by a third party and such third party or the agent of the third party delivers possession of the vehicle to the lessee. In such case, such third party shall supply to the lessee the required instructions.


29005. When one vehicle is towing another, the drawbar or other connection shall not exceed 15 feet.


29006. (a) No person shall operate a vehicle towing another motor vehicle upon a freeway unless the towing vehicle is coupled to the towed vehicle by a rigid structure attached securely to both vehicles by nonrigid means. (b) The requirements of subdivision (a) are not applicable to a vehicle towing a motor vehicle which has been disabled and is being towed from the point of disablement to the nearest and most accessible exit from the freeway.


29007. The requirements of Section 29004 shall not apply to vehicles engaged in driveaway-towaway operations if all the following conditions are met: (a) The towed vehicle has one end supported by the towing vehicle. (b) The towed vehicle is secured to the towing vehicle by a device designed and constructed as to be readily demountable and to perform the functions of a fifth-wheel-type connection. (c) The fifth-wheel-type connection device is securely affixed to the vehicles to prevent shifting of the device on the vehicles to which it is attached. (d) The fifth-wheel-type connection device provides a means of variation of inclination between the towing and towed vehicle due to vertical curvatures of the highway. Such means shall not depend upon either the looseness or deformation of the connection or the vehicles to provide for such variation.

29008. Sections 29004 and 29005 shall not apply to trailers or dollies used to support booms attached to truck cranes if the following conditions are met: (a) The trailer or dolly is connected to the boom by a pin, coupling device, or fifth wheel assembly. (b) The trailer is secured to the boom with a chain, cable, or equivalent device of sufficient strength to control the trailer or dolly in case of failure of the connection consisting of a pin, coupling device, or fifth wheel assembly.


29009. The requirements of Section 29004 do not apply to a dolly used to support a portion of special construction equipment, as defined in Section 565, which, due to its size or weight is being operated under the authority of a permit issued by the Department of Transportation, if the dolly is secured to the construction equipment, and the construction equipment is secured to the towing vehicle, by chain, cable, or equivalent devices of sufficient strength to control the construction equipment and dolly.


Chapter 5. Transporting Other Loads

Article 1. Hazardous Materials

Ca Codes (veh:31301-31309) Vehicle Code Section 31301-31309



31301. (a) No person shall transport any explosive substance, flammable liquid, liquefied petroleum gas or poisonous gas in a tank truck, trailer, or semitrailer through the Caldecott Tunnel located on State Highway, Route 24, near the Alameda-Contra Costa County boundary, connecting Oakland with Contra Costa County in the East Bay area at any time other than between the hours of 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. (b) The Department of Transportation may, in compliance with the requirements of Article 1 (commencing with Section 22400) of Division 11, determine and declare a reduced speed limit, lower than the maximum speed of 55 miles per hour, found most appropriate for traffic safety between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as a limitation or restriction on the power of the Department of Transportation, conferred by any other provision of law, to adopt regulations with regard to the movement of vehicles, including, but not limited to, tank truck vehicles transporting any cargo specified under subdivision (a) through the Caldecott Tunnel. If, pursuant to any such other law, the Department of Transportation adopts or amends regulations after the effective date of this section, which adopted or amended regulations govern the movement of vehicles subject to subdivision (a), then on the operative date of those regulations, this section shall no longer be operative.

31303. (a) The provisions of this section apply to the highway transportation of hazardous materials and hazardous waste for which the display of placards or markings is required pursuant to Section 27903. This section does not apply to hazardous materials being transported on specified routes pursuant to Section 31616 or 33000. (b) Unless restricted or prohibited pursuant to Section 31304, the transportation shall be on state or interstate highways which offer the least overall transit time whenever practicable. (c) The transporter shall avoid, whenever practicable, congested thoroughfares, places where crowds are assembled, and residence districts as defined in Section 515. (d) Vehicles used for the transportation shall not be left unattended or parked overnight in a residence district as defined in Section 515. (e) When transporting hazardous waste pursuant to Section 25169.3 of the Health and Safety Code, all provisions of the waste hauler transportation safety plan, as approved by the State Department of Health Services, shall be complied with. (f) Transportation which deviates from the routes required by this section shall not be excused on the basis of operating convenience. (g) Notwithstanding subdivisions (b) and (c), vehicles engaged in the transportation may also use any of the following highways: (1) Highways which provide necessary access to local pickup or delivery points consistent with safe vehicle operation. (2) Highways which provide reasonable access to fuel, repairs, rest, or food facilities that are designed and intended to accommodate commercial vehicle parking, when that access is consistent with safe vehicle operation and when the facility is within one-half road mile of points of entry or exit from the state or interstate highway being used. (3) Highways restricted or prohibited pursuant to this section when no other lawful alternative exists. (h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1987.


31304. (a) The transportation of hazardous materials and hazardous waste for which the display of placards or markings is required pursuant to Section 27903 may be restricted or prohibited, by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, after consultation with the Department of Transportation, with regard to state or interstate highways, or by a city or county by ordinance or resolution, after formal notice to the Department of the California Highway Patrol and with the concurrence of their appropriate transportation planning agency defined in Section 29532 of the Government Code, with regard to specified highways under their control, if all of the following requirements are met: (1) The respective highway is appreciably less safe than a reasonable alternate highway as determined by using either of the following criteria: (A) The "Guidelines for Applying Criteria to Designate Routes for Transporting Hazardous Materials" prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA A-IP-80-15). (B) The Department of the California Highway Patrol or the city or county, whichever has jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (a), determines that the respective highway is located within the watershed of a drinking water reservoir which meets all of the following requirements: (i) The reservoir is owned or operated by a public water system, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code. (ii) The reservoir has a capacity of at least 10,000 acre feet. (iii) The reservoir directly serves a water treatment plant, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code. (iv) The reservoir is impounded by a dam, as defined in Section 6002 of the Water Code. (v) The reservoir's shoreline is located within 500 feet of the highway. (2) The restriction or prohibition on the use of the highway pursuant to this section is not precluded or preempted by federal law. (3) The restriction or prohibition does not eliminate necessary access to local pickup or delivery points consistent with safe vehicle operation; does not eliminate reasonable access to fuel, repairs, rest, or food facilities that are designed and intended to accommodate commercial vehicle parking, when that access is consistent with safe vehicle operation and when the facility is within one-half road mile of points of entry or exit from the state or interstate highway being used; or does not restrict or prohibit the use of highways when no other lawful alternative exists. (4) Written concurrence has been obtained from affected surrounding jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, state agencies, counties, cities, special districts, or other political subdivisions of the state, that the proposed restriction or prohibition is not incompatible with through transportation. If written concurrence is not granted by one of the affected surrounding jurisdictions, that action may be appealed to the appropriate transportation planning agency for final resolution. (5) The highway is posted by the agency responsible for highway signs on that highway in conformity with standards of the Department of Transportation. (6) A list of the routes restricted or prohibited is submitted to the Department of the California Highway Patrol. (7) The highway is included in a list of highways restricted or prohibited pursuant to this section which is published by the Department of the California Highway Patrol and is available to interested parties for not less than 14 days. (b) Notwithstanding any prohibition or restriction adopted pursuant to subdivision (a), deviation from restricted or prohibited routes is authorized in an emergency or other special circumstances with the concurrence of a member of the agency having traffic law enforcement authority for the highway.


31305. (a) Upon receipt of a written petition from a local jurisdiction or motor carrier adversely affected by a restriction or prohibition adopted pursuant to Section 31304, the Department of the California Highway Patrol may preempt any local restriction or prohibition that, in its opinion, is not compatible with reasonable and necessary access or the use of highways when no other lawful alternative exists as provided for in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of that section, or through transportation as provided for in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of that section. (b) Upon receipt of a written petition from a local jurisdiction or motor carrier adversely affected by a preemption issued pursuant to subdivision (a), the Department of the California Highway Patrol, after holding a public hearing, shall render a decision upholding or denying the petition. (c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1987.


31306. (a) A list of highways restricted or prohibited pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 31304 shall be published or updated by the Department of the California Highway Patrol semiannually. (b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1987.


31307. (a) It is unlawful for the owner of any vehicle or the authorized agent of the owner to drive, or to direct or knowingly permit the driving of, the vehicle in violation of Section 31303 or 31304. Violation of any of these sections is a misdemeanor punishable as follows: (1) For a first violation, a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 60 days, or both the fine and imprisonment. (2) For a second violation within a 12-month period, a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 60 days, or both the fine and imprisonment. (3) For a third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period, a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 120 days, or both the fine and imprisonment. (b) Additionally, upon recommendation of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, three or more violations of these sections constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of registration, or denial of an application for registration under Section 25163 of the Health and Safety Code by the State Department of Health Services. Proceedings in these cases shall be subject to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. (c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1987.


31308. (a) Nothing contained in Section 31303 or 31304 shall be deemed to exempt any person subject to these sections from other provisions of this code. (b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1987.


31309. Notwithstanding Section 34500 and subdivision (a) of Section 34501, the transportation of hazardous materials in a manner requiring that placards be displayed on the transporting vehicle pursuant to Section 27903, shall comply with regulations adopted by the California Highway Patrol pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 34501.


Article 2. Vehicles Transporting Workmen

Ca Codes (veh:31400-31409) Vehicle Code Section 31400-31409



31400. Trucks used primarily or regularly for the transportation of workmen shall be: (a) Equipped with seats securely fastened to the vehicle. (b) Equipped, if a motortruck, with a railing or other suitable enclosure on the sides and end of the vehicle not less than 46 inches above the floor of the vehicle. (c) Equipped with steps, stirrups, or other equivalent devices so placed and arranged that the vehicle may be safely mounted and dismounted.

31401. (a) The department shall adopt regulations designed to promote the safe operation of farm labor vehicles described in Section 322, including, but not limited to, vehicular design, equipment, passenger safety, and seating. (b) The department shall inspect every farm labor vehicle described in Section 322 at least once annually to ascertain whether its construction, design, and equipment comply with all provisions of law. No person shall drive any farm labor vehicle described in Section 322 unless there is displayed therein a certificate issued by the department stating that on a stated day, which shall be within 13 months of the date of operation, an authorized employee of the department inspected the vehicle and found on the date of inspection the vehicle complied with applicable regulations relating to construction, design, and equipment. The commissioner shall provide by rule or regulation for the issuance and display of distinctive inspection certificates. (c) The department may inspect any vehicle subject to these regulations in maintenance facilities, terminals, labor camps, or other private property of the vehicle owner or the farm labor contractor to insure compliance with the provisions of this code and regulations adopted pursuant to this section. (d) The owner of any farm labor vehicle or any farm labor contractor, as defined in Section 1682 of the Labor Code, who rents a farm labor vehicle or who otherwise uses a farm labor vehicle to transport individuals is responsible for the inspection required under subdivision (b). (e) An owner of any farm labor vehicle or any farm labor contractor who operates a farm labor vehicle under the circumstances described in subdivision (d) may not operate that vehicle unless the vehicle has a current certificate described in subdivision (b). (f) It is unlawful to violate any provision of these regulations or this section.


31401.5. (a) The department shall develop, by regulation, specifications for a display sticker that shall be clearly displayed on every farm labor vehicle. This display sticker shall list the inspection certification date pursuant to this section and the "800" telephone reporting system required by Section 2429. (b) The regulations of the department shall require every owner or operator of a farm labor vehicle to request the scheduling of the inspection required under subdivision (b) of Section 31401 as follows: (1) The owner or operator of a farm labor vehicle that has a current inspection certificate pursuant to Section 31401 shall make the request for inspection not later than four weeks prior to the expiration date of the certificate. (2) The owner or operator of a farm labor vehicle required to have its initial inspection shall make the request for inspection not later than three business days prior to the requested date. (c) In no event shall the owner or operator of a farm labor vehicle allow the operation of a farm labor vehicle without the proper certification requirements specified under Section 31401.


31402. (a) No person may operate any farm labor vehicle except as may be necessary to return the unladen vehicle or combination of vehicles to the residence or place of business of the owner or driver, or to a garage, after notice by the department to the owner that the vehicle is in an unsafe condition or is not equipped as required by this code, or any regulations adopted thereunder, until the vehicle and its equipment have been made to conform with the requirements of this code, or any regulations adopted thereunder, and approved by the department. (b) (1) A person who operates a farm labor vehicle in violation of this section while the vehicle is in a condition that presents an immediate safety hazard is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both that fine and a sentence of confinement for not more than six months in the county jail. No part of any fine imposed under this subdivision may be suspended. (2) As used in this subdivision, an "immediate safety hazard" is any equipment violation described in subdivision (a) of Section 31401 or Section 31405, including any violation of a regulation adopted pursuant to that provision or those provisions. (c) Any member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol may impound a farm labor vehicle operated in violation of this section pursuant to Section 34506.4. A farm labor vehicle shall not be impounded unless a member of that department determines that a person has failed to comply with subdivision (a) or a person fails to comply with a lawful out-of-service order, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 2800.


31403. A farm labor vehicle known to an owner, farm labor contractor, or driver, to be unsafe, or not equipped as required by this code, or any regulations adopted thereunder, shall not be used for transporting any passengers until it is examined and repaired or equipped as required by this code, or any regulations adopted thereunder, and certified by a competent mechanic to be safe and lawfully equipped.


31404. Any person who operates, or any owner or farm labor contractor who knowingly allows the operation of, a farm labor vehicle in violation of subdivision (b) or (d) of Section 31401 or Section 31402 or 31403 is guilty of a misdemeanor. When a person has been convicted of willfully violating those provisions, the person shall, in addition, be fined not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation, and no part of the fine may be suspended. If passengers are in the vehicle at the time of the violation, the person shall, in addition, be fined five hundred dollars ($500) for each passenger, not to exceed a total of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation, and no part of this fine may be suspended. As used in this section, the terms "knowingly" and "willfully" have the same meaning as prescribed in Section 7 of the Penal Code.

31405. (a) Except as authorized under paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), every farm labor vehicle issued an inspection certificate under Section 31401 shall be equipped at each passenger position with a Type 1 or Type 2 seatbelt assembly, conforming to the specifications set forth in Section 571.209 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, that is anchored to the vehicle in a manner that conforms to the specifications of Section 571.210 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. (b) Except as authorized under paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), the department may not issue an initial inspection certificate under Section 31401 to any farm labor vehicle that is not equipped with a seatbelt assembly at each passenger position, as described in subdivision (a). (c) The owner of a farm labor vehicle shall maintain all seatbelt assemblies and seatbelt assembly anchorages required under this section in good working order for the use of passengers. (d) Except as authorized under paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) or subdivision (d) of Section 23116, no person may operate a farm labor vehicle on a highway unless that person and all passengers are properly restrained by a seatbelt assembly that conforms to this section. (e) (1) Until January 1, 2007, this section does not apply to a farm labor vehicle that meets the definition in subdivision (a) of Section 233, meets all state and federal standards for safety and construction, and is not currently required to have seatbelts. (2) On or after January 1, 2007, any farm labor vehicle that meets the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) shall be equipped at each passenger position with a seatbelt assembly as described in subdivision (a), unless exempted from this requirement under the regulations promulgated under Section 31401. (f) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this section.

31406. (a) No person may be transported in a farm labor vehicle that does not have all passenger seating positions in compliance with Section 571.207 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as that provision exists now or may hereafter be amended. (b) No person may install a seat or seating system in a farm labor vehicle unless that seat or seating system is in compliance with Section 571.207 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as that provision exists now or may hereafter be amended. (c) This section shall become operative on March 31, 2002.


31407. All cutting tools or tools with sharp edges carried in the passenger compartment of a farm labor vehicle shall be placed in securely latched containers that are firmly attached to the vehicle. All other tools, equipment, or materials carried in the passenger compartment shall be secured to the body of the vehicle to prevent their movement while the vehicle is in motion. Under no circumstances shall those tools, equipment, or materials obstruct an aisle or an emergency exit.


31408. No person may operate a farm labor vehicle on a highway unless both headlamps required under Section 24400 are lighted, regardless of the time of day.

31409. Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 322, any vehicle owned or operated by or for a public transit system that is purchased with funds appropriated pursuant to Item 2660-103-0046 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2000 (Chapter 52 of the Statutes of 2000) or pursuant to Section 5309 of Title 49 of the United States Code and is used to transport farmworkers for any farmworker transportation program shall comply with the farm labor vehicle provisions contained in, and the regulations promulgated under, this chapter, relating to the following: (a) (1) Annual farm labor vehicle inspection and certification. (2) Following initial certification, the inspection and certification of buses designed, used, or maintained for carrying more than 15 persons, including the driver, shall be conducted during the inspection required by subdivision (c) of Section 34501. (b) Seatbelt installation. (c) Illumination of headlamps. (d) Storage and securing of tools in passenger compartments.


Article 7. Tank Containers

Ca Codes (veh:31540) Vehicle Code Section 31540



31540. (a) The department shall adopt and enforce such regulations as it determines are necessary for public safety regarding the transportation of: (1) Freight van or tank containers which can be removed from the running gear or chassis of a truck or trailer, and (2) Collapsible containers used to transport liquids on flatbed vehicles. (b) It is unlawful to fail to comply with any provision of the regulations adopted by the department.


Article 8. Waste Tires

Ca Codes (veh:31560) Vehicle Code Section 31560



31560. (a) A person operating a vehicle, or combination of vehicles, in the transportation of 10 or more used tires or waste tires, or a combination of used tires and waste tires totaling 10 or more, as defined in Section 42950 of the Public Resources Code, shall be registered with the California Integrated Waste Management Board, unless specifically exempted, as provided in Chapter 19 (commencing with Section 42950) of Part 3 of Division 30 of the Public Resources Code and in regulations adopted by the board to implement that chapter. (b) It is unlawful and constitutes an infraction for a person engaged in the transportation of 10 or more used tires or waste tires, or a combination of used tires and waste tires totaling 10 or more, to violate a provision of this article or Section 42951 of the Public Resources Code.


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