Law:Title 7. Vehicles And Traffic. Subtitle C. Rules Of The Road from Chapter 547. Vehicle Equipment (Texas)

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Subtitle C. Rules Of The Road

Contents

Chapter 547. Vehicle Equipment

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  547.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Air-conditioning equipment" means mechanical vapor compression refrigeration equipment used to cool a motor vehicle passenger or operator compartment.

(2)  "Explosive cargo vehicle" means a motor vehicle used to transport explosives or a cargo tank truck used to transport a flammable liquid or compressed gas.

(2-a)  "Golf cart" has the meaning assigned by Section 502.001.

(3)  "Light transmission" means the ratio of the amount of light that passes through a material to the amount of light that falls on the material and the glazing.

(4)  "Luminous reflectance" means the ratio of the amount of light that is reflected by a material to the amount of light that falls on the material.

(5)  "Multipurpose vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is:

(A)  designed to carry 10 or fewer persons; and

(B)  constructed on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road use.

(6)  "Safety glazing material" includes only a glazing material that is constructed, treated, or combined with another material to reduce substantially, as compared to ordinary sheet or plate glass, the likelihood of injury to persons by an external object or by cracked or broken glazing material.

(7)  "Slow-moving vehicle" means:

(A)  a motor vehicle designed to operate at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour or less, not including an electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined by Section 551.201; or

(B)  a vehicle, implement of husbandry, or machinery, including road construction machinery, that is towed by:

(i)  an animal; or

(ii)  a motor vehicle designed to operate at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour or less.

(8)  "Slow-moving-vehicle emblem" means a triangular emblem that conforms to standards and specifications adopted by the director under Section 547.104.

(9)  "Sunscreening device" means a film, material, or device that meets the department's standards for reducing effects of the sun.

(10)  "Vehicle equipment" means:

(A)  a system, part, or device that is manufactured or sold as original or replacement equipment or as a vehicle accessory; or

(B)  a device or apparel manufactured or sold to protect a vehicle operator or passenger.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 547.002.  Applicability.

Unless a provision is specifically made applicable, this chapter and the rules of the department adopted under this chapter do not apply to:

(1)  an implement of husbandry;

(2)  road machinery;

(3)  a road roller;

(4)  a farm tractor;

(5)  a bicycle, a bicyclist, or bicycle equipment;

(6)  an electric bicycle, an electric bicyclist, or electric bicycle equipment; or

(7)  a golf cart that is operated only as authorized by Section 551.403.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 896, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  547.003.  Equipment Not Affected.

This chapter does not prohibit and the department by rule may not prohibit the use of:

(1)  equipment required by an agency of the United States; or

(2)  a part or accessory not inconsistent with this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.004.  General Offenses.

(a) A person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor if the person operates or moves or, as an owner, knowingly permits another to operate or move, a vehicle that:

(1)  is unsafe so as to endanger a person;

(2)  is not equipped in a manner that complies with the vehicle equipment standards and requirements established by this chapter; or

(3)  is equipped in a manner prohibited by this chapter.

(b)  A person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor if the person operates a vehicle equipped with an item of vehicle equipment that the person knows has been determined in a compliance proceeding under Section 547.206 to not comply with a department standard.

(c)  A court may dismiss a charge brought under this section if the defendant:

(1)  remedies the defect before the defendant's first court appearance; and

(2)  pays an administrative fee not to exceed $10.

(d)  Subsection (c) does not apply to an offense involving a commercial motor vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  547.005.  Offense Relating To Violation Of Special-use Provisions.

(a) A person may not use a slow-moving-vehicle emblem on a stationary object or a vehicle other than a slow-moving vehicle.

(b)  A person may not operate a motor vehicle bearing the words "school bus" unless the vehicle is used primarily to transport persons to or from school or a school-related activity. In this subsection, "school" means a privately or publicly supported elementary or secondary school, day-care center, preschool, or institution of higher education and includes a church if the church is engaged in providing formal education.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter B. Adoption Of Rules And Standards

Section  547.101.  Rules And Standards In General.

(a) The department may adopt rules necessary to administer this chapter.

(b)  The department may adopt standards for vehicle equipment to:

(1)  protect the public from unreasonable risk of death or injury; and

(2)  enforce safety standards of the United States as permitted under the federal motor vehicle act.

(c)  A department standard must:

(1)  duplicate a standard of the United States that applies to the same aspect of vehicle equipment performance as the department standard; or

(2)  if there is no standard of the United States for the same aspect of vehicle equipment performance as the department standard, conform as closely as possible to a relevant standard of the United States, similar standards established by other states, and a standard issued or endorsed by recognized national standard-setting organizations or agencies.

(d)  The department may not adopt a vehicle equipment standard inconsistent with a standard provided by this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.102.  School Bus Equipment Standards.

The department may adopt standards and specifications that:

(1)  supplement the standards and specifications provided by this chapter;

(2)  apply to lighting and warning device equipment required for a school bus; and

(3)  at the time adopted, correlate with and conform as closely as possible to specifications approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.103.  Air-conditioning Equipment Standards.

The department may adopt safety requirements, rules, and specifications that:

(1)  apply to air-conditioning equipment; and

(2)  correlate with and conform as closely as possible to recommended practices or standards approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.104.  Slow-moving-vehicle Emblem Standards.

The director shall adopt standards and specifications that:

(1)  apply to the color, size, and mounting position of a slow-moving-vehicle emblem; and

(2)  at the time adopted, correlate with and conform as closely as practicable to the standards and specifications adopted or approved by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers for a uniform emblem to identify a slow-moving vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.105.  Maintenance And Service Equipment Lighting Standards.

(a) The Texas Department of Transportation shall adopt standards and specifications that:

(1)  apply to lamps on highway maintenance and service equipment, including snow-removal equipment; and

(2)  correlate with and conform as closely as possible to standards and specifications approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

(b)  The Texas Department of Transportation may adopt standards and specifications for lighting that permit the use of flashing lights for identification purposes on highway maintenance and service equipment, including snow-removal equipment.

(c)  The standards and specifications adopted under this section are in lieu of the standards and specifications otherwise provided by this chapter for lamps on vehicles.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter C. Provisions Relating To The Offer, Distribution, And Sale Of Vehicle Equipment

Section  547.201.  Offenses Relating To The Offer, Distribution, And Sale Of Vehicle Equipment.

(a) A person may not offer or distribute for sale or sell an item of vehicle equipment for which a standard is prescribed by this chapter or the department and that does not comply with the standard. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this subsection that the person did not have reason to know in the exercise of due care that the item did not comply with the applicable standard.

(b)  A person may not offer or distribute for sale or sell an item of vehicle equipment for which a standard is prescribed by this chapter or the department, unless the item or its package:

(1)  bears the manufacturer's trademark or brand name; or

(2)  complies with each applicable identification requirement established by an agency of the United States or the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.202.  Department Certification Or Approval Of Vehicle Equipment.

(a) When or after an item of vehicle equipment is sold in this state, the department shall determine whether a department standard is prescribed for the item. If a department standard is prescribed, the department shall determine whether the item complies with the standard.

(b)  If a standard of an agency of the United States or of the department is not prescribed, the department by rule may require departmental approval before the sale of the item.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.203.  Vehicle Equipment Testing: Department Standards.

(a) The department shall prescribe standards for and approve testing facilities to:

(1)  review test data submitted by a manufacturer to show compliance with a department standard; and

(2)  test an item of vehicle equipment independently in connection with a proceeding to determine compliance with a department standard.

(b)  The department may not impose a product certification or approval fee, including a fee for testing facility approval.

(c)  The department may:

(1)  by rule, require a manufacturer of an item of vehicle equipment sold in this state to submit adequate test data to show that the item complies with department standards;

(2)  periodically require a manufacturer to submit revised test data to demonstrate continuing compliance;

(3)  purchase an item of vehicle equipment at retail for the purpose of review and testing under Subsection (a); and

(4)  enter into cooperative arrangements with other states and interstate agencies to reduce duplication of testing and to facilitate compliance with rules under Subsection (c)(1).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.204.  Vehicle Equipment Testing: Federal Standards.

(a) For a vehicle or item of vehicle equipment subject to a motor vehicle safety standard of the United States, the department may, on or after the first sale of the vehicle or item of vehicle equipment:

(1)  require the manufacturer to submit adequate test data to show that the vehicle or item of vehicle equipment complies with standards of the United States;

(2)  review the manufacturer's laboratory test data and the qualifications of the laboratory; and

(3)  independently test the vehicle or item of vehicle equipment.

(b)  The department may not require certification or approval of an item of vehicle equipment subject to a motor vehicle safety standard of the United States.

(c)  The department may not require a manufacturer of a vehicle or of an item of vehicle equipment subject to a motor vehicle safety standard of the United States to use an outside laboratory or a specified laboratory.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.205.  Initiation Of Compliance Proceeding.

(a) The department may initiate a proceeding to determine whether an item of vehicle equipment complies with a department standard if the department reasonably believes that the item is being offered or distributed for sale or sold in violation of the standard.

(b)  The department shall send written notice of the proceeding to the manufacturer of the item by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(c)  The notice required by Subsection (b) must:

(1)  cite the standard that the item allegedly violates; and

(2)  state that the manufacturer must file a written request with the department for a hearing not later than the 30th day after the date the notice is received to obtain a hearing on the issue of compliance.

(d)  When the department sends notice under Subsection (b), the department shall require the manufacturer to submit to the department, not later than the 30th day after the date the notice is received, the names and addresses of the persons the manufacturer knows to be offering the item for sale to retail merchants.

(e)  On receipt under Subsection (d) of the names and addresses, the department shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, written notice of the compliance proceeding to those persons.

(f)  The notice must:

(1)  cite the standard that the item allegedly violates;

(2)  state that the manufacturer of the item has been notified and may request a hearing on the issue of compliance before a stated date;

(3)  state that if the manufacturer or another person requests a hearing, the person may appear at the hearing;

(4)  state that if the manufacturer does not request a hearing, the person may request a hearing by filing a written request with the department not later than the 30th day after the date notice is received; and

(5)  state that the person may determine from the department whether a hearing will be held and the time and place of the hearing.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.206.  Compliance Proceeding Hearing.

The department shall conduct a hearing on the issue of compliance if a person required by Section 547.205 to be notified requests a hearing in the manner and within the time specified by that section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.207.  Compliance Proceeding Issues.

(a) In a hearing under Section 547.206 or in the absence of a request for a hearing, the department may make a determination of the following issues only:

(1)  whether an item of vehicle equipment has been offered, distributed, or sold in violation of a department standard;

(2)  whether the manufacturer did not submit test data required by the department under Section 547.203; and

(3)  whether an item of vehicle equipment has been offered, distributed, or sold without the identification required by Section 547.201.

(b)  The department by order shall prohibit the manufacture, offer for sale, distribution for sale, or sale of the item if the department finds affirmatively on at least one of the issues.

(c)  After entering its order, the department shall send written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each person the department notified under Section 547.205.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.208.  Judicial Review And Judicial Enforcement.

(a) A person may appeal an order entered under Section 547.207 to a district court in Travis County only if a hearing was held by the department and the person:

(1)  is aggrieved by the order; and

(2)  appeared at the hearing on compliance.

(b)  The department may bring suit in a district court of Travis County for an injunction to prohibit the manufacture, offer, distribution, or sale of an item of vehicle equipment that is the subject of a department order entered under Section 547.207. The attorney general shall represent the department in the suit.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter D. General Provisions Regarding Lighting Requirements

Section  547.301.  General Provisions Relating To Measurements.

(a) Unless expressly stated otherwise, a visibility distance requirement imposed by this chapter for a lamp or device applies when a lighted lamp or device is required and is measured as if the vehicle were unloaded and on a straight, level, unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions.

(b)  A mounted height requirement imposed by this chapter for a lamp or device is measured as if the vehicle were unloaded and on level ground and is measured from the center of the lamp or device to the ground.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.302.  Duty To Display Lights.

(a) A vehicle shall display each lighted lamp and illuminating device required by this chapter to be on the vehicle:

(1)  at nighttime; and

(2)  when light is insufficient or atmospheric conditions are unfavorable so that a person or vehicle on the highway is not clearly discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead.

(b)  A signaling device, including a stoplamp or a turn signal lamp, shall be lighted as prescribed by this chapter.

(c)  At least one lighted lamp shall be displayed on each side of the front of a motor vehicle.

(d)  Not more than four of the following may be lighted at one time on the front of a motor vehicle:

(1)  a headlamp required by this chapter; or

(2)  a lamp, including an auxiliary lamp or spotlamp, that projects a beam with an intensity brighter than 300 candlepower.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.303.  Color Requirements.

(a) Unless expressly provided otherwise, a lighting device or reflector mounted on the rear of a vehicle must be or reflect red.

(b)  A signaling device mounted on the rear of a vehicle may be red, amber, or yellow.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.304.  Applicability.

(a) A provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with fixed electric lights does not apply to a farm trailer or fertilizer trailer registered under Section 504.504 or a boat trailer with a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or less if the trailer is not operated at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).

(b)  Except for Sections 547.323 and 547.324, a provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with fixed electric lights does not apply to a boat trailer with a gross weight of less than 4,500 pounds if the trailer is not operated at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).

(c)  Except for Sections 547.323 and 547.324, a provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with lamps, reflectors, and lighting equipment does not apply to a mobile home if the mobile home:

(1)  is moved under a permit issued by the Texas Department of Transportation under Subchapter D, Chapter 623; and

(2)  is not moved at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).

(d)  A mobile home lighted as provided by this section may be moved only during daytime.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 280, Sec. 4, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  547.305.  Restrictions On Use Of Lights.

(a) A motor vehicle lamp or illuminating device, other than a headlamp, spotlamp, auxiliary lamp, turn signal lamp, or emergency vehicle or school bus warning lamp, that projects a beam with an intensity brighter than 300 candlepower shall be directed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam strikes the roadway at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.

(b)  Except as expressly authorized by law, a person may not operate or move equipment or a vehicle, other than a police vehicle, with a lamp or device that displays a red light visible from directly in front of the center of the equipment or vehicle.

(c)  A person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a red, white, or blue beacon, flashing, or alternating light unless the equipment is:

(1)  used as specifically authorized by this chapter; or

(2)  a running lamp, headlamp, taillamp, backup lamp, or turn signal lamp that is used as authorized by law.

(d)  A vehicle may be equipped with alternately flashing lighting equipment described by Section 547.701 or 547.702 only if the vehicle is:

(1)  a school bus;

(2)  an authorized emergency vehicle;

(3)  a church bus that has the words "church bus" printed on the front and rear of the bus so as to be clearly discernable to other vehicle operators;

(4)  a tow truck while under the direction of a law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident or while hooking up to a disabled vehicle on a roadway; or

(5)  a tow truck with a mounted light bar which has turn signals and stop lamps in addition to those required by Sections 547.322, 547.323, and 547.324, Transportation Code.

(e)  A person may not operate highway maintenance or service equipment, including snow-removal equipment, that is not equipped with lamps or that does not display lighted lamps as required by the standards and specifications adopted by the Texas Department of Transportation.

(f)  In this section "tow truck" means a motor vehicle or mechanical device that is adapted or used to tow, winch, or move a disabled vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 380, Sec. 1, eff. July 1, 1999.



Subchapter E. General Lighting Requirements For Vehicles

Section  547.321.  Headlamps Required.

(a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with at least two headlamps.

(b)  At least one headlamp shall be mounted on each side of the front of the vehicle.

(c)  Each headlamp shall be mounted at a height from 24 to 54 inches.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.3215.  Use Of Federal Standard.

Unless specifically prohibited by this chapter, lighting, reflective devices, and associated equipment on a vehicle or motor vehicle must comply with:

(1)  the current federal standards in 49 C.F.R. Section 571.108; or

(2)  the federal standards in that section in effect, if any, at the time the vehicle or motor vehicle was manufactured.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 324, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  547.322.  Taillamps Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or vehicle that is towed at the end of a combination of vehicles shall be equipped with at least two taillamps.

(b)  A passenger car or truck that was manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one taillamp.

(c)  Taillamps shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle:

(1)  at a height from 15 to 72 inches; and

(2)  at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable if a vehicle is equipped with more than one lamp.

(d)  A taillamp shall emit a red light plainly visible at a distance of 1,000 feet from the rear of the vehicle.

(e)  If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the taillamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for the distance specified in Subsection (d).

(f)  A taillamp or a separate lamp shall be constructed and mounted to emit a white light that:

(1)  illuminates the rear license plate; and

(2)  makes the plate clearly legible at a distance of 50 feet from the rear.

(g)  A taillamp, including a separate lamp used to illuminate a rear license plate, must emit a light when a headlamp or auxiliary driving lamp is lighted.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.323.  Stoplamps Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two stoplamps.

(b)  A passenger car manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one stoplamp.

(c)  A stoplamp shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle.

(d)  A stoplamp shall emit a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, that is:

(1)  visible in normal sunlight at a distance of at least 300 feet from the rear of the vehicle; and

(2)  displayed when the vehicle service brake is applied.

(e)  If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the stoplamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for the distance specified in Subsection (d).

(f)  A stoplamp may be included as a part of another rear lamp.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.324.  Turn Signal Lamps Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps that indicate the operator's intent to turn by displaying flashing lights to the front and rear of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and on that side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made.

(b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to a passenger car or truck less than 80 inches wide manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960.

(c)  Turn signal lamps:

(1)  shall be mounted at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable on the front and on the rear of the vehicle; and

(2)  may be included as a part of another lamp on the vehicle.

(d)  A turn signal lamp shall emit:

(1)  a white or amber light, or a color between white and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle; or

(2)  a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.

(e)  A turn signal lamp must be visible in normal sunlight at a distance of:

(1)  at least 500 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is at least 80 inches wide; and

(2)  at least 300 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is less than 80 inches wide.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.325.  Reflectors Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subchapter F, a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two red reflectors on the rear of the vehicle. A red reflector may be included as a part of a taillamp.

(b)  A reflector shall be:

(1)  mounted at a height from 15 to 60 inches; and

(2)  visible at night at all distances:

(A)  from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; or

(B)  from 100 to 350 feet when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps if the vehicle was manufactured or assembled before January 1, 1972.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.326.  Minimum Lighting Equipment Required.

(a) A vehicle that is not specifically required to be equipped with lamps or other lighting devices shall be equipped at the times specified in Section 547.302(a) with at least one lamp that emits a white light visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the front and:

(1)  two lamps that emit a red light visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the rear; or

(2)  one lamp that emits a red light visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the rear and two red reflectors visible when illuminated by the lawful lower beams of headlamps at all distances from 100 to 600 feet to the rear.

(b)  This section also applies to an animal-drawn vehicle and a vehicle exempted from this chapter by Section 547.002.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.327.  Spotlamps Permitted.

(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two spotlamps.

(b)  A spotlamp shall be aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam strikes the windshield, window, mirror, or occupant of another vehicle in use.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.328.  Fog Lamps Permitted.

(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two fog lamps.

(b)  A fog lamp shall be:

(1)  mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height from 12 to 30 inches; and

(2)  aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam from a lamp mounted to the left of center on a vehicle projects a beam of light at a distance of 25 feet that is higher than four inches below the level of the center of the lamp.

(c)  Lighted fog lamps may be used with lower headlamp beams as specified by Section 547.333.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.329.  Auxiliary Passing Lamps Permitted.

(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with no more than two auxiliary passing lamps.

(b)  An auxiliary passing lamp shall be mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height from 24 to 42 inches.

(c)  An auxiliary passing lamp may be used with headlamps as specified by Section 547.333.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.330.  Auxiliary Driving Lamps Permitted.

(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with no more than two auxiliary driving lamps.

(b)  An auxiliary driving lamp shall be mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height from 16 to 42 inches.

(c)  Auxiliary driving lamps may be used with headlamps as specified by Section 547.333.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.331.  Hazard Lamps Permitted.

(a) A vehicle may be equipped with lamps to warn other vehicle operators of a vehicular traffic hazard that requires unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing.

(b)  The lamps shall be:

(1)  mounted at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable on the front and on the rear of the vehicle; and

(2)  visible at a distance of at least 500 feet in normal sunlight.

(c)  The lamps shall display simultaneously flashing lights that emit:

(1)  a white or amber light, or a color between white and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle; or

(2)  a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.332.  Other Lamps Permitted.

A motor vehicle may be equipped with:

(1)  not more than two side cowl or fender lamps that emit an amber or white light without glare;

(2)  not more than two running board courtesy lamps, one on each side of the vehicle, that emit an amber or white light without glare; and

(3)  one or more backup lamps that:

(A)  emit an amber or white light only when the vehicle is not moving forward; and

(B)  may be displayed separately or in combination with another lamp.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.333.  Multiple-beam Lighting Equipment Required.

(a) Unless provided otherwise, a headlamp, auxiliary driving lamp, auxiliary passing lamp, or combination of those lamps mounted on a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle:

(1)  shall be arranged so that the operator can select at will between distributions of light projected at different elevations; and

(2)  may be arranged so that the operator can select the distribution automatically.

(b)  A lamp identified by Subsection (a) shall produce:

(1)  an uppermost distribution of light or composite beam that is aimed and emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 450 feet ahead during all conditions of loading; and

(2)  a lowermost distribution of light or composite beam that:

(A)  is aimed and emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 150 feet ahead; and

(B)  is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam on a vehicle that is operated on a straight, level road under any condition of loading projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator.

(c)  A person who operates a vehicle on a roadway or shoulder shall select a distribution of light or composite beam that is aimed and emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a safe distance ahead of the vehicle, except that:

(1)  an operator approaching an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet shall select:

(A)  the lowermost distribution of light or composite beam, regardless of road contour or condition of loading; or

(B)  a distribution aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the lamp projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator; and

(2)  an operator approaching a vehicle from the rear within 300 feet may not select the uppermost distribution of light.

(d)  A motor vehicle of a model year of 1948 or later, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, that has multiple-beam lighting equipment shall be equipped with a beam indicator that is:

(1)  designed and located so that the lighted indicator is visible without glare to the vehicle operator; and

(2)  lighted only when the uppermost distribution of light is in use.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.334.  Single-beam Lighting Equipment Permitted.

(a) In lieu of the multiple-beam lighting equipment required by Section 547.333, a headlamp system that provides a single distribution of light and meets the requirements of Subsection (b) is permitted for:

(1)  a farm tractor; or

(2)  a motor vehicle manufactured and sold before September 4, 1948.

(b)  The headlamp system specified by Subsection (a) shall:

(1)  emit a light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 200 feet; and

(2)  be aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the lamp projects a beam:

(A)  higher than five inches below the level of the center of the lamp at a distance of 25 feet ahead; or

(B)  higher than 42 inches above the ground at a distance of 75 feet ahead.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.335.  Alternative Road Lighting Equipment Permitted.

In lieu of the multiple-beam or single-beam lighting equipment otherwise required by this subchapter, a motor vehicle that is operated at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour under the conditions specified in Section 547.302(a) may be equipped with two lighted lamps:

(1)  mounted on the front of the vehicle; and

(2)  capable of revealing a person or vehicle 100 feet ahead.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter F. Additional Lighting Requirements For Certain Large Vehicles

Section  547.351.  Applicability. The

color, mounting, and visibility requirements in this subchapter apply only to equipment on a vehicle described by Section 547.352.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.352.  Additional Lighting Equipment Requirements.

In addition to other equipment required by this chapter:

(1)  a bus, truck, trailer, or semitrailer that is at least 80 inches wide shall be equipped with:

(A)  two clearance lamps on the front, one at each side;

(B)  two clearance lamps on the rear, one at each side;

(C)  four side marker lamps, one on each side at or near the front and one on each side at or near the rear;

(D)  four reflectors, one on each side at or near the front and one on each side at or near the rear; and

(E)  hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331;

(2)  a bus or truck that is at least 30 feet long shall be equipped with hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331;

(3)  a trailer or semitrailer that is at least 30 feet long shall be equipped with:

(A)  two side marker lamps, one centrally mounted on each side with respect to the length of the vehicle;

(B)  two reflectors, one centrally mounted on each side with respect to the length of the vehicle; and

(C)  hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331;

(4)  a pole trailer shall be equipped with:

(A)  two side marker lamps, one at each side at or near the front of the load;

(B)  one reflector at or near the front of the load;

(C)  one combination marker lamp that:

(i)  emits an amber light to the front and a red light to the rear and side; and

(ii)  is mounted on the rearmost support for the load to indicate the maximum width of the trailer; and

(D)  hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331, if the pole trailer is at least 30 feet long or at least 80 inches wide;

(5)  a truck-tractor shall be equipped with:

(A)  two clearance lamps, one at each side on the front of the cab; and

(B)  hazard lamps that meet the requirements of Section 547.331, if the truck-tractor is at least 30 feet long or at least 80 inches wide; and

(6)  a vehicle at least 80 inches wide may be equipped with:

(A)  not more than three front identification lamps without glare; and

(B)  not more than three rear identification lamps without glare.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.353.  Color Requirements.

(a) A clearance lamp, identification lamp, side marker lamp, or reflector mounted on the front, on the side near the front, or in the center of the vehicle must be or reflect amber.

(b)  A clearance lamp, identification lamp, side marker lamp, or reflector mounted on the rear or the side near the rear of the vehicle must be or reflect red.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.354.  Mounting Requirements.

(a) A reflector shall be mounted:

(1)  at a height from 24 to 60 inches; or

(2)  as high as practicable on the permanent structure of the vehicle if the highest part of the permanent structure is less than 24 inches.

(b)  A rear reflector may be:

(1)  included as a part of a taillamp if the reflector meets each other requirement of this subchapter; and

(2)  mounted on each side of the bolster or load, if the vehicle is a pole trailer.

(c)  A clearance lamp shall be mounted, if practicable, on the permanent structure of the vehicle to indicate the extreme height and width of the vehicle, except that:

(1)  a clearance lamp on a truck-tractor shall be mounted to indicate the extreme width of the cab; and

(2)  a front clearance lamp may be mounted at a height that indicates, as near as practicable, the extreme width of the trailer if mounting of the lamp as otherwise provided by this section would not indicate the extreme width of the trailer.

(d)  A clearance lamp and side marker lamp may be mounted in combination if each lamp complies with the visibility requirements of Section 547.355.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.355.  Visibility Requirements.

(a) A clearance lamp, identification lamp, or side marker lamp shall be visible and recognizable under normal atmospheric conditions at all distances from 50 to 500 feet from the vehicle on the side, front, or rear where the lamp is mounted.

(b)  A reflector required by this chapter mounted on a vehicle subject to this subchapter shall be visible from the rear, if a rear reflector, or from the applicable side, if a side reflector, at nighttime at all distances from 100 to 600 feet from the vehicle when the reflector is directly in front of:

(1)  lawful lower beams of headlamps; or

(2)  lawful upper beams of headlamps on a vehicle manufactured or assembled before January 1, 1972.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter G. Alternative Lighting Requirements For Farm Tractors, Farm Equipment, And Implements Of Husbandry

Section  547.371.  General Lighting Equipment Requirements.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a farm tractor, self-propelled unit of farm equipment, or implement of husbandry shall be equipped with:

(1)  at least two headlamps that comply with Section 547.333, 547.334, or 547.335;

(2)  at least one red lamp visible at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the rear and mounted as far to the left of the center of the vehicle as practicable;

(3)  at least two red reflectors visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet from the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and

(4)  hazard lamps as described in Section 547.331, which shall be lighted and visible in normal sunlight at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from the front and rear.

(b)  A farm tractor, self-propelled unit of farm equipment, or implement of husbandry manufactured or assembled on or before January 1, 1972, is required to be equipped as provided by Subsection (a) only at the times specified by Section 547.302(a), and hazard lamps are not required.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.372.  Lighting Requirements For Combination Vehicles.

(a) If a unit of farm equipment or implement of husbandry is towed by a farm tractor and the towed object or its load extends more than four feet to the rear of the tractor or obscures a light on the tractor, the towed object shall be equipped at the times specified by Section 547.302(a) with at least two rear red reflectors that are:

(1)  visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and

(2)  mounted to indicate, as nearly as practicable, the extreme width of the vehicle or combination of vehicles.

(b)  If a unit of farm equipment or implement of husbandry is towed by a farm tractor and extends more than four feet to the left of the centerline of the tractor, the towed object shall be equipped at the times specified by Section 547.302(a) with a front amber reflector that is:

(1)  visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and

(2)  mounted to indicate, as nearly as practicable, the extreme left projection of the towed object.

(c)  Reflective tape or paint may be used as an alternative to the reflectors required by this section if the alternative complies with the other requirements of this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter H. Lighting Requirements In Special Circumstances

Section  547.381.  Obstructed Lights On Combination Vehicles.

(a) A motor vehicle when operated in combination with another vehicle is not required to display a lighted lamp, other than a taillamp, if the lamp is obscured because of its location by another vehicle in the combination of vehicles.

(b)  Subsection (a) is not an exception for the lighting as provided by this chapter of:

(1)  front clearance lamps on the frontmost vehicle in the combination; or

(2)  rear lamps on the rearmost vehicle in the combination.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.382.  Lighting Equipment On Projecting Loads.

(a) A vehicle transporting a load that extends to the rear at least four feet beyond the bed or body of the vehicle shall display on the extreme end of the load at the times specified in Section 547.302(a):

(1)  two red lamps visible at a distance of at least 500 feet from the rear;

(2)  two red reflectors that indicate the maximum width and are visible at nighttime at all distances from 100 to 600 feet from the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps; and

(3)  two red lamps, one on each side, that indicate the maximum overhang and are visible at a distance of at least 500 feet from the side.

(b)  At all other times, a vehicle transporting a load that extends beyond the vehicle's sides or more than four feet beyond the vehicle's rear shall display red flags that:

(1)  are at least 12 inches square;

(2)  mark the extremities of the load; and

(3)  are placed where a lamp is required by this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.383.  Lighting Requirements On Parked Vehicles.

(a) A vehicle, other than a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with at least one lamp, or a combination of lamps, that:

(1)  emits a white or amber light visible at a distance of 1,000 feet from the front and a red light visible at a distance of 1,000 feet from the rear; and

(2)  is mounted so that at least one lamp is installed as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle that is closest to passing traffic.

(b)  A vehicle, other than a motor-driven cycle, that is parked or stopped on a roadway or shoulder at a time specified in Section 547.302(a) shall display a lamp that complies with Subsection (a).

(c)  A vehicle that is lawfully parked on a highway is not required to display lights at night-time if there is sufficient light to reveal a person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1,000 feet.

(d)  A lighted headlamp on a parked vehicle shall be dimmed.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter I. Provisions Relating To Brake Requirements On Vehicles

Section  547.401.  Brakes Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or combination of those vehicles shall be equipped with brakes that comply with this chapter.

(b)  A trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer is not required to have brakes if:

(1)  its gross weight is 4,500 pounds or less; or

(2)  its gross weight is heavier than 4,500 pounds but not heavier than 15,000 pounds, and it is drawn at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.402.  Operation And Maintenance Of Brakes.

(a) Required brakes shall operate on each wheel of a vehicle except:

(1)  special mobile equipment;

(2)  a vehicle that is towed as a commodity when at least one set of the towed vehicle's wheels is on the roadway, if the combination of vehicles complies with the performance requirements of this chapter; and

(3)  a trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer with a gross weight heavier than 4,500 pounds but not heavier than 15,000 pounds drawn at a speed of more than 30 miles per hour, if the brakes operate on both wheels of the rear axle.

(b)  A truck or truck-tractor that has at least three axles is not required to have brakes on the front wheels, but must have brakes that:

(1)  operate on the wheels of one steerable axle if the vehicle is equipped with at least two steerable axles; and

(2)  comply with the performance requirements of this chapter.

(c)  A trailer or semitrailer that has a gross weight of 15,000 pounds or less may use surge or inertia brake systems to satisfy the requirements of Subsection (a).

(d)  Brakes shall be maintained in good working order and adjusted to operate on wheels on each side of the vehicle as equally as practicable.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.403.  Service Brakes Required.

(a) A vehicle required to have brakes by this subchapter, other than special mobile equipment, shall be equipped with service brakes that:

(1)  comply with the performance requirements of this subchapter; and

(2)  are adequate to control the movement of the vehicle, including stopping and holding, under all loading conditions and when on any grade on which the vehicle is operated.

(b)  A vehicle required to have brakes by this subchapter shall be equipped so that one control device operates the service brakes. This subsection does not prohibit an additional control device that may be used to operate brakes on a towed vehicle. A vehicle that tows another vehicle as a commodity when at least one set of the towed vehicle's wheels is on the roadway is not required to comply with this requirement unless the brakes on the towing and towed vehicles are designed to be operated by a single control on the towing vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.404.  Parking Brakes Required.

(a) A vehicle required to have brakes by this subchapter, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle:

(1)  on any grade on which the vehicle is operated;

(2)  under all loading conditions; and

(3)  on a surface free from snow, ice, or loose material.

(b)  The parking brakes shall be:

(1)  designed to operate continuously as required once applied, despite a leakage or an exhaustion of power source; and

(2)  activated by the vehicle operator's muscular effort, by spring action, or by equivalent means.

(c)  The parking brakes may be assisted by the service brakes or by another power source, unless a failure in the power source would prevent the parking brakes from operating as required by this section.

(d)  The same brake drums, brake shoes and lining assemblies, brake shoe anchors, and mechanical brake shoe actuation mechanism normally associated with wheel brake assemblies may be used for the parking brakes and service brakes.

(e)  If the means of applying the parking brakes and service brakes are connected, the brake system shall be constructed so that the failure of one part will not cause the vehicle to be without operative brakes.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.405.  Emergency Brakes Required.

(a) A vehicle used to tow another vehicle equipped with air-controlled brakes shall be equipped with the following means, together or separate, for applying the trailer brakes in an emergency:

(1)  an automatic device that applies the brakes to a fixed pressure from 20 to 45 pounds per square inch if the towing vehicle's air supply is reduced; and

(2)  a manual device to apply and release the brakes that is readily operable by a person seated in the operator's seat and arranged so that:

(A)  its emergency position or method of operation is clearly indicated; and

(B)  its use does not prevent operation of the automatic brakes.

(b)  In addition to the single control device required by Section 547.403, a vehicle used to tow another vehicle equipped with vacuum brakes shall be equipped with a second control device that:

(1)  is used to operate the brakes on a towed vehicle in an emergency;

(2)  is independent of brake air, hydraulic, or other pressure and independent of other controls, unless the braking system is arranged to automatically apply the towed vehicle's brakes if the pressure for the second control device on the towing vehicle fails; and

(3)  is not required to provide modulated braking.

(c)  Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a vehicle that tows another vehicle as a commodity when at least one set of wheels of the towed vehicle is on the roadway.

(d)  A trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer that is equipped with air or vacuum brakes or that has a gross weight heavier than 3,000 pounds shall be equipped with brakes that:

(1)  operate on all wheels; and

(2)  are promptly applied automatically and remain applied for at least 15 minutes in case of a breakaway from the towing vehicle.

(e)  A motor vehicle used to tow a trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer equipped with brakes shall be equipped with service brakes arranged so that, in case of a breakaway of the towed vehicle, the towing vehicle is capable of stopping by use of its service brakes.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.406.  Brake Reservoir Or Reserve Capacity Required.

(a) A bus, truck, or truck-tractor equipped with air brakes shall be equipped with at least one reservoir that:

(1)  is sufficient to ensure that the service brakes can be fully applied without lowering the reservoir pressure, if fully charged to the maximum pressure as regulated by the air compressor governor cut-out setting, by more than 20 percent; and

(2)  has a means for readily draining accumulated oil or water.

(b)  A truck with at least three axles that is equipped with vacuum brakes or a truck-tractor or truck used to tow a vehicle equipped with vacuum brakes shall be equipped with a reserve capacity or a vacuum reservoir sufficient to ensure that, with the reserve capacity or vacuum reservoir fully charged and with the engine stopped, the service brakes can be fully applied without depleting the vacuum supply by more than 40 percent.

(c)  A motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer that is equipped with an air or vacuum reservoir or reserve capacity shall be equipped with a check valve or equivalent device to prevent depletion of the air or vacuum supply by failure or leakage.

(d)  An air brake system installed on a trailer shall be designed to prevent a backflow of air from the supply reservoir through the supply line.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.407.  Brake Warning Devices Required.

(a) A bus, truck, or truck-tractor that uses air to operate its brakes or the brakes of a towed vehicle shall be equipped with:

(1)  a warning signal, other than a pressure gauge, that is readily audible or visible to the vehicle operator and that shows when the air reservoir pressure is below 50 percent of the air compressor governor cut-out pressure; and

(2)  a pressure gauge visible to the vehicle operator that shows in pounds per square inch the pressure available for braking.

(b)  A truck-tractor or truck used to tow a vehicle equipped with vacuum brakes, or a truck with at least three axles that is equipped with vacuum brakes, shall be equipped with a warning signal, other than a gauge showing vacuum, that is readily audible or visible to the vehicle operator and that shows when the vacuum in the reservoir or reserve capacity is less than eight inches of mercury. This subsection does not apply to an operation in which a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is transported as a commodity when at least one set of the vehicle's wheels is on the roadway.

(c)  If a vehicle required to be equipped with a warning device is equipped with air and vacuum power to operate its brakes or the brakes on a towed vehicle, the warning devices required may be combined into a single device that is not a pressure or vacuum gauge.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.408.  Performance Requirements For Brakes.

(a) A motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be equipped with service brakes capable of:

(1)  developing a braking force that is not less than:

(A)  52.8 percent of the gross weight of the vehicle for a passenger vehicle; or

(B)  43.5 percent of the gross weight of the vehicle for a vehicle other than a passenger vehicle;

(2)  decelerating to a stop from 20 miles per hour or less at not less than:

(A)  17 feet per second per second for a passenger vehicle; or

(B)  14 feet per second per second for other vehicles; and

(3)  stopping from a speed of 20 miles per hour in a distance, measured from the location where the service brake pedal or control is activated, of not more than:

(A)  25 feet for a passenger vehicle;

(B)  30 feet for a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or single unit vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less;

(C)  40 feet for:

(i)  a single unit vehicle with a manufacturer's gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;

(ii)  a two-axle towing vehicle and trailer combination with a weight of 3,000 pounds or less;

(iii)  a bus that does not have a manufacturer's gross weight rating; and

(iv)  the combination of vehicles in an operation exempted by Section 547.407(b); and

(D)  50 feet for other vehicles.

(b)  A test for deceleration or stopping distance shall be performed on a dry, smooth, hard surface that:

(1)  is free of loose material; and

(2)  does not exceed plus or minus one percent grade.

(c)  In this section, "passenger vehicle" means a vehicle that has a maximum seating capacity of 10 persons, including the operator, and that does not have a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter J. Provisions Relating To Warning Device Requirements On Vehicles

Section  547.501.  Audible Warning Devices.

(a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a horn in good working condition that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of at least 200 feet.

(b)  A vehicle may not be equipped with and a person may not use on a vehicle a siren, whistle, or bell unless the vehicle is:

(1)  a commercial vehicle that is equipped with a theft alarm signal device arranged so that the device cannot be used as an ordinary warning signal; or

(2)  an authorized emergency vehicle that is equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell that complies with Section 547.702.

(c)  A motor vehicle operator shall use a horn to provide audible warning only when necessary to insure safe operation.

(d)  A warning device, including a horn, may not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.502.  Visible Warning Devices Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person who operates, outside an urban district or on a divided highway, a truck, bus, or truck-tractor or a motor vehicle towing a house trailer shall carry in the vehicle:

(1)  at daytime:

(A)  at least two red flags at least 12 inches square; and

(B)  standards to support the flags; and

(2)  at nighttime:

(A)  at least three flares and at least three red-burning fusees;

(B)  at least three red electric lanterns; or

(C)  at least three portable red emergency reflectors.

(b)  A person who operates an explosive cargo vehicle at nighttime:

(1)  shall carry in the vehicle three red electric lanterns or three portable red emergency reflectors; and

(2)  may not carry in the vehicle a flare, fusee, or signal produced by flame.

(c)  A flare, electric lantern, or portable reflector must be visible and distinguishable at a distance of at least 600 feet at night under normal atmospheric conditions.

(d)  A portable reflector unit must be designed and constructed to reflect a red light clearly visible at all distances from 100 to 600 feet under normal atmospheric conditions at night when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps.

(e)  A flare, fusee, electric lantern, portable reflector, or warning flag must be a type approved by the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.503.  Display Of Hazard Lamps.

(a) The operator of a vehicle that is described by Subsection (b) and that is stopped on a roadway or shoulder shall immediately display vehicular hazard warning lamps that comply with Section 547.331, unless the vehicle:

(1)  is parked lawfully in an urban district;

(2)  is stopped lawfully to receive or discharge a passenger;

(3)  is stopped to avoid conflict with other traffic;

(4)  is stopped to comply with a direction of a police officer or an official traffic-control device; or

(5)  displays other warning devices as required by Sections 547.504-547.507.

(b)  This section applies to a truck, bus, truck-tractor, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer at least 80 inches wide or at least 30 feet long.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.504.  Display Of Devices When Lighted Lamps Required. (a)

Unless sufficient light exists to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of 1,000 feet, the operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) or an explosive cargo vehicle shall display warning devices that comply with the requirements of Section 547.502:

(1)  when lighted lamps are required; and

(2)  under the conditions stated in this section.

(b)  Except as provided by Section 547.506 and Subsection (d), the operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) or an explosive cargo vehicle that is disabled, or stopped for more than 10 minutes, on a roadway outside an urban district shall:

(1)  immediately place a lighted red electric lantern or a portable red emergency reflector at the traffic side of the vehicle in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic; and

(2)  place in the following order and as soon as practicable within 15 minutes one lighted red electric lamp or portable red emergency reflector:

(A)  in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle toward approaching traffic approximately 100 feet from the vehicle; and

(B)  in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle in the opposite direction approximately 100 feet from the vehicle.

(c)  Except as provided by Section 547.506 and Subsection (d), the operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) or an explosive cargo vehicle that is disabled, or stopped for more than 10 minutes, on a roadway of a divided highway shall place the warning devices described by Subsection (b):

(1)  in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle toward approaching traffic approximately 200 feet from the vehicle;

(2)  in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle toward approaching traffic approximately 100 feet from the vehicle; and

(3)  at the traffic side approximately 10 feet from the vehicle in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic.

(d)  As an alternative to the use of electric lamps or red reflectors and except as provided by Subsection (e), the operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) may display a lighted fusee to comply with the requirements of Subsection (b)(1) or liquid-burning flares to comply with the requirements of Subsections (b)(2) and (c). If the operator uses liquid-burning flares to comply with Subsection (b)(2), the operator shall also, after complying with Subsection (b)(2)(B), place a liquid-burning flare at the traffic side of the vehicle at least 10 feet in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic. If a fusee is used to comply with Subsection (b)(1), the operator shall comply with Subsection (b)(2) within the burning period of the fusee.

(e)  The operator of an explosive cargo vehicle may not display as a warning device a flare, fusee, or signal produced by flame.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.505.  Display Of Devices When Lighted Lamps Are Not Required. (a)

The operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) or an explosive cargo vehicle that is disabled, or stopped for more than 10 minutes, on a roadway outside an urban district or on a roadway of a divided highway when lighted lamps are not required shall display two red flags that comply with Section 547.502.

(b)  If traffic on the roadway moves in two directions, one flag shall be placed approximately 100 feet to the rear and one approximately 100 feet ahead of the vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle.

(c)  If traffic on the roadway moves in one direction, one flag shall be placed approximately 100 feet and one approximately 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.506.  Display Of Devices: Vehicles Off Roadway.

The operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) or an explosive cargo vehicle that is stopped entirely on the shoulder at a time and in a place referred to in this subchapter shall place required warning devices on the shoulder as close as practicable to the edge of the roadway.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.507.  Display Of Devices When View Of Vehicle Obstructed.

Unless sufficient light exists to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of 1,000 feet, the operator of a vehicle described by Section 547.503(b) or an explosive cargo vehicle that is disabled, or stopped for more than 10 minutes, within 500 feet of a curve, hillcrest, or other obstruction to view shall place the required warning device for the direction of the obstruction from 100 to 500 feet from the vehicle so as to provide ample warning to other traffic.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.508.  Offense Relating To Warning Devices. (a) Ex

cept as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not remove, damage, destroy, misplace, or extinguish a warning device required under Sections 547.502-547.507 when the device is being displayed or used as required.

(b)  This section does not apply to:

(1)  an owner of a vehicle or the owner's authorized agent or employee; or

(2)  a peace officer acting in an official capacity.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter K. Provisions Relating To Other Vehicle Equipment

Section  547.601.  Safety Belts Required.

A motor vehicle required by Chapter 548 to be inspected shall be equipped with front safety belts if safety belt anchorages were part of the manufacturer's original equipment on the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.602.  Mirrors Required.

A motor vehicle, including a motor vehicle used to tow another vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror located to reflect to the operator a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.603.  Windshield Wipers Required.

A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device that is operated or controlled by the operator of the vehicle and that cleans moisture from the windshield. The device shall be maintained in good working condition.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.604.  Muffler Required.

(a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise.

(b)  A person may not use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device on a motor vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.605.  Emission Systems Required.

(a) The engine and power mechanism of a motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent the escape of excessive smoke or fumes.

(b)  A motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, of a model year after 1967, shall be equipped to prevent the discharge of crankcase emissions into the ambient atmosphere.

(c)  The owner or operator of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, of a model year after 1967, that is equipped with an exhaust emission system:

(1)  shall maintain the system in good working condition;

(2)  shall use the system when the motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine is operated; and

(3)  may not remove the system or a part of the system or intentionally make the system inoperable in this state, unless the owner or operator removes the system or part to install another system or part intended to be equally effective in reducing atmospheric emissions.

(d)  Except when travel conditions require the downshifting or use of lower gears to maintain reasonable momentum, a person commits an offense if the person operates, or as an owner knowingly permits another person to operate, a vehicle that emits:

(1)  visible smoke for 10 seconds or longer; or

(2)  visible smoke that remains suspended in the air for 10 seconds or longer before fully dissipating.

(e)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1 and not more than $350 for each violation. If a person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 for each violation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1075, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  547.606.  Safety Guards Or Flaps Required.

(a) A road tractor, truck, trailer, truck-tractor in combination with a semitrailer, or semitrailer in combination with a towing vehicle that has at least four tires on the rearmost axle of the vehicle or the rearmost vehicle in the combination shall be equipped with safety guards or flaps that:

(1)  are of a type prescribed by the department; and

(2)  are located and suspended behind the rearmost wheels of the vehicle or the rearmost vehicle in the combination within eight inches of the surface of the highway.

(b)  This section does not apply to a truck-tractor operated alone or a pole trailer.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.607.  Fire Extinguisher Required.

A school bus or a motor vehicle that transports passengers for hire or lease shall be equipped with at least one quart of chemical-type fire extinguisher in good condition and located for immediate use.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.608.  Safety Glazing Material Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person who sells or registers a new passenger-type motor vehicle, including a passenger bus and school bus, shall equip the vehicle doors, windows, and windshield with safety glazing material of a type approved by the department.

(b)  The requirements of Subsection (a) do not apply to a glazing material in a compartment of a truck, including a truck-tractor, that is not designed and equipped for a person to ride in.

(c)  A person may not replace or require the replacement of glass in a door, window, or windshield of any motor vehicle if the replacement is not made with safety glazing material.

(d)  A person who sells or attaches to a motor vehicle a camper manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1972, shall equip the camper doors and windows with safety glazing material of a type approved by the department. In this subsection "camper" means a structure designed to:

(1)  be loaded on or attached to a motor vehicle; and

(2)  provide temporary living quarters for recreation, travel, or other use.

(e)  A person who sells imperfect safety glass for a door, window, or windshield of a motor vehicle shall:

(1)  label the glass "second," "imperfect," or by a similar term in red letters at least one inch in size to indicate to the consumer the quality of the glass;

(2)  orally notify the consumer of each imperfection and the possible result of using imperfect glass; and

(3)  deliver written notice at the time of purchase notifying the consumer of each imperfection and the possible result of using imperfect glass.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 547.609.  Required Label For  Sunscreening Devices.

A sunscreening device must have a label that:

(1)  is legible;

(2)  contains information required by the department on light transmission and luminous reflectance of the device;

(3)  if the device is placed on or attached to a windshield or a side or rear window, states that the light transmission of the device is consistent with Section 547.613(b)(1) or (2), as applicable; and

(4)  is permanently installed between the material and the surface to which the material is applied.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 750, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  547.610.  Safe Air-conditioning Equipment Required; Sale Of Noncomplying Vehicle.

(a) Air-conditioning equipment:

(1)  shall be manufactured, installed, and maintained to ensure the safety of the vehicle occupants and the public; and

(2)  may not contain any refrigerant that is flammable or is toxic to persons unless the refrigerant is included in the list published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a safe alternative motor vehicle air conditioning substitute for chlorofluorocarbon-12, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 7671k(c).

(b)  A person may not possess or offer for sale, sell, or equip a motor vehicle with air-conditioning equipment that does not comply with the requirements of this section and Section 547.103.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 282, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 2009.



Section  547.611.  Use Of Certain Video Equipment And Television Receivers.

(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with video receiving equipment, including a television, a digital video disc player, a videocassette player, or similar equipment, only if the equipment is located so that the video display is not visible from the operator's seat unless the vehicle's transmission is in park or the vehicle's parking brake is applied.

(b)  A motor vehicle specially designed as a mobile unit used by a licensed television station may have video receiving equipment located so that the video display is visible from the operator's side, but the receiver may be used only when the vehicle is stopped.

(c)  This section does not prohibit the use of:

(1)  equipment used:

(A)  exclusively for receiving digital information for commercial purposes;

(B)  exclusively for a safety or law enforcement purpose, if each installation is approved by the department;

(C)  in a remote television transmission truck; or

(D)  exclusively for monitoring the performance of equipment installed on a vehicle used for safety purposes in connection with the operations of a natural gas, water, or electric utility; or

(2)  a monitoring device that:

(A)  produces an electronic display; and

(B)  is used exclusively in conjunction with a mobile navigation system installed in the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.117(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 942, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  547.612.  Restrictions On Use And Sale Of Tires.

(a) A solid rubber tire used on a vehicle must have rubber on the traction surface that extends above the edge of the flange of the periphery.

(b)  A person may not operate or move a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that has a metal tire in contact with the roadway, unless:

(1)  the vehicle is a farm wagon or farm trailer that has a gross weight of less than 5,000 pounds; and

(2)  the owner is transporting farm products to market, for processing, or from farm to farm.

(c)  A tire used on a moving vehicle may not have on its periphery a block, stud, flange, cleat, or spike or other protuberance of a material other than rubber that projects beyond the tread of the traction surface, unless the protuberance:

(1)  does not injure the highway; or

(2)  is a tire chain of reasonable proportion that is used as required for safety because of a condition that might cause the vehicle to skid.

(d)  The Texas Transportation Commission and a local authority within its jurisdiction may issue a special permit that authorizes a person to operate a tractor or traction engine that has movable tracks with transverse corrugations on the periphery or a farm tractor or other farm machinery.

(e)  A person commits an offense if the person offers for sale or sells a private passenger automobile tire that is regrooved. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $2,000.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.613.  Restrictions On Windows.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor:

(1)  if the person operates a motor vehicle that has an object or material that is placed on or attached to the windshield or side or rear window and that obstructs or reduces the operator's clear view; or

(2)  if a person, including an installer or manufacturer, places on or attaches to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle a transparent material that alters the color or reduces the light transmission.

(a-1)  A person in the business of placing or attaching transparent material that alters the color or reduces the light transmission to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle commits a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 if the person:

(1)  places or attaches such transparent material to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle; and

(2)  does not install a label that complies with Section 547.609 between the transparent material and the windshield or side or rear window of the vehicle, as applicable.

(b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to:

(1)  a windshield that has a sunscreening device that:

(A)  in combination with the windshield has a light transmission of 25 percent or more;

(B)  in combination with the windshield has a luminous reflectance of 25 percent or less;

(C)  is not red, blue, or amber; and

(D)  does not extend downward beyond the AS-1 line or more than five inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield;

(2)  a wing vent or a window that is to the left or right of the vehicle operator if the vent or window has a sunscreening device that in combination with the vent or window has:

(A)  a light transmission of 25 percent or more; and

(B)  a luminous reflectance of 25 percent or less;

(2-a)  a side window that is to the rear of the vehicle operator;

(3)  a rear window, if the motor vehicle is equipped with an outside mirror on each side of the vehicle that reflects to the vehicle operator a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear;

(4)  a rearview mirror;

(5)  an adjustable nontransparent sun visor that is mounted in front of a side window and not attached to the glass;

(6)  a direction, destination, or termination sign on a passenger common carrier motor vehicle, if the sign does not interfere with the vehicle operator's view of approaching traffic;

(7)  a rear window wiper motor;

(8)  a rear trunk lid handle or hinge;

(9)  a luggage rack attached to the rear trunk;

(10)  a side window that is to the rear of the vehicle operator on a multipurpose vehicle;

(11)  a window that has a United States, state, or local certificate placed on or attached to it as required by law;

(12)  a motor vehicle that is not registered in this state;

(13)  a window that complies with federal standards for window materials, including a factory-tinted or a pretinted window installed by the vehicle manufacturer, or a replacement window meeting the specifications required by the vehicle manufacturer;

(14)  a vehicle that is:

(A)  used regularly to transport passengers for a fee; and

(B)  authorized to operate under license or permit by a local authority;

(15)  a vehicle that is maintained by a law enforcement agency and used for law enforcement purposes; or

(16)  a commercial motor vehicle as defined by Section 644.001.

(c)  A manufacturer shall certify to the department that the sunscreening device made or assembled by the manufacturer complies with the light transmission and luminous reflectance specifications established by Subsection (b) for sunscreening devices in combination with a window.

(d)  The department may determine that a window that has a sunscreening device is exempt under Subsection (b)(2) if the light transmission or luminous reflectance varies by no more than three percent from the standard established in that subsection.

(e)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the defendant or a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the violation is required for a medical reason to be shielded from direct rays of the sun.

(f)  It is not an offense under this section for a person to offer for sale or sell a motor vehicle with a windshield or window that does not comply with this section.

(g)  In this section:

(1)  "Installer" means a person who fabricates, laminates, or tempers a safety glazing material to incorporate, during the installation process, the capacity to reflect light or reduce light transmission.

(2)  "Manufacturer" means a person who:

(A)  manufactures or assembles a sunscreening device; or

(B)  fabricates, laminates, or tempers safety glazing material to incorporate, during the manufacturing process, the capacity to reflect light or reduce light transmission.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.118(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 368, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 750, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 547.614.  Restrictions On Airbags.

(a) In this section, "counterfeit airbag" means an airbag that does not meet all applicable federal safety regulations for an airbag designed to be installed in a vehicle of a particular make, model, and year.

(a-1)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:

(1)  installs or purports to install an airbag in a vehicle;  and

(2)  does not install an airbag or installs a counterfeit airbag.

(a-2)  A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  makes or sells a counterfeit airbag to be installed in a motor vehicle;

(2)  intentionally alters an airbag that is not counterfeit in a manner that causes the airbag to not meet all applicable federal safety regulations for an airbag designed to be installed in a vehicle of a particular make, model, and year;

(3)  represents to another person that a counterfeit airbag installed in a motor vehicle is not counterfeit; or

(4)  causes another person to violate Subsection (a-1) or Subdivision (1), (2), or (3) or assists a person in violating Subsection (a-1) or Subdivision (1), (2), or (3).

(b)  Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted of an offense under this section.

(d)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that as a result of the offense an individual suffered bodily injury.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 910, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 547.615.  Recording Devices.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Owner" means a person who:

(A)  has all the incidents of ownership of a motor vehicle, including legal title, regardless of whether the person lends, rents, or creates a security interest in the vehicle;

(B)  is entitled to possession of a motor vehicle as a purchaser under a security agreement; or

(C)  is entitled to possession of a motor vehicle as a lessee under a written lease agreement if the agreement is for a period of not less than three months.

(2)  "Recording device" means a feature that is installed by the manufacturer in a motor vehicle and that does any of the following for the purpose of retrieving information from the vehicle after an accident in which the vehicle has been involved:

(A)  records the speed and direction the vehicle is traveling;

(B)  records vehicle location data;

(C)  records steering performance;

(D)  records brake performance, including information on whether brakes were applied before an accident;

(E)  records the driver's safety belt status; or

(F)  transmits information concerning the accident to a central communications system when the accident occurs.

(b)  A manufacturer of a new motor vehicle that is sold or leased in this state and that is equipped with a recording device shall disclose that fact in the owner's manual of the vehicle.

(c)  Information recorded or transmitted by a recording device may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner of the motor vehicle in which the recording device is installed except:

(1)  on court order;

(2)  with the consent of the owner for any purpose, including for the purpose of diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle;

(3)  for the purpose of improving motor vehicle safety, including for medical research on the human body's reaction to motor vehicle accidents, if the identity of the owner or driver of the vehicle is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information; or

(4)  for the purpose of determining the need for or facilitating emergency medical response in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

(d)  For information recorded or transmitted by a recording device described by Subsection (a)(2)(B), a court order may be obtained only after a showing that:

(1)  retrieval of the information is necessary to protect the public safety; or

(2)  the information is evidence of an offense or constitutes evidence that a particular person committed an offense.

(e)  For the purposes of Subsection (c)(3):

(1)  disclosure of a motor vehicle's vehicle identification number with the last six digits deleted or redacted is not disclosure of the identity of the owner or driver; and

(2)  retrieved information may be disclosed only:

(A)  for the purposes of motor vehicle safety and medical research communities to advance the purposes described in Subsection (c)(3); or

(B)  to a data processor solely for the purposes described in Subsection (c)(3).

(f)  If a recording device is used as part of a subscription service, the subscription service agreement must disclose that the device may record or transmit information as described by Subsection (a)(2).  Subsection (c) does not apply to a subscription service under this subsection.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 910, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2006.



Subchapter L. Additional Equipment Requirements For School Buses, Authorized Emergency Vehicles, And Slow-moving Vehicles

Section 547.701.  Additional Equipment Requirements For School Buses And Other Buses Used To Transport Schoolchildren.

(a) A school bus shall be equipped with:

(1)  a convex mirror or other device that reflects to the school bus operator a clear view of the area immediately in front of the vehicle that would otherwise be hidden from view; and

(2)  signal lamps that:

(A)  are mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable;

(B)  display four alternately flashing red lights, two located on the front at the same level and two located on the rear at the same level; and

(C)  emit a light visible at a distance of 500 feet in normal sunlight.

(b)  A school bus may be equipped with:

(1)  rooftop warning lamps:

(A)  that conform to and are placed on the bus in accordance with specifications adopted under Section 34.002, Education Code; and

(B)  that are operated under rules adopted by the school district; and

(2)  movable stop arms:

(A)  that conform to regulations adopted under Section 34.002, Education Code; and

(B)  that may be operated only when the bus is stopped to load or unload students.

(c)  When a school bus is being stopped or is stopped on a highway to permit students to board or exit the bus, the operator of the bus shall activate all flashing warning signal lights and other equipment on the bus designed to warn other drivers that the bus is stopping to load or unload children. A person may not operate such a light or other equipment except when the bus is being stopped or is stopped on a highway to permit students to board or exit the bus.

(d)  The exterior of a school bus may not bear advertising or another paid announcement directed at the public if the advertising or announcement distracts from the effectiveness of required safety warning equipment. The department shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. A school bus that violates this section or rules adopted under this section shall be placed out of service until it complies.

 

Text of subsection effective September 1, 2009, in accordance with Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 90.

 

(e)  In this subsection, "bus" includes a school bus and a school activity bus.  A bus operated by or contracted for use by a school district for the transportation of schoolchildren shall be equipped with a three-point seat belt for each passenger, including the operator.  This subsection applies to:

(1)  each bus purchased by a school district on or after September 1, 2010, for the transportation of schoolchildren; and

(2)  each school-chartered bus contracted for use by a school district on or after September 1, 2011, for the transportation of schoolchildren.

(f)  A school district is required to comply with Subsection (e) only to the extent that the Texas Education Agency pays or commits to pay the district for expenses incurred in complying with that subsection.  The Texas Education Agency may make grants of appropriated money for the purpose of paying school districts under this subsection.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1438, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 183, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 259, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 259, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 90(c), eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  547.7011.  Additional Equipment Requirements For Other Buses.

(a) A bus, other than a school bus, that provides public transportation and that was acquired on or after September 1, 1997, shall be equipped with two or more hazard lamps that:

(1)  are mounted at the same level on the rear of the bus;

(2)  are visible at a distance of 500 feet in normal sunlight;

(3)  flash; and

(4)  emit amber light.

(b)  An operator of a bus to which this section applies shall activate the hazard lamps if the bus stops to load or unload a person under 18 years of age.

(c)  A bus to which this section applies must bear a sign on the rear of the bus stating: "Caution--children may be exiting".

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1131, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 547.7012.  Requirements For Multifunction School Activity Buses.

A multifunction school activity bus may not be painted National School Bus Glossy Yellow.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 923, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  547.7015.  Rules Relating To School Buses.

(a) The department shall adopt and enforce rules governing the design, color, lighting and other equipment, construction, and operation of a school bus for the transportation of schoolchildren that is:

(1)  owned and operated by a school district in this state; or

(2)  privately owned and operated under a contract with a school district in this state.

(b)  In adopting rules under this section, the department shall emphasize:

(1)  safety features; and

(2)  long-range, maintenance-free factors.

(c)  Rules adopted under this section:

(1)  apply to each school district, the officers and employees of a district, and each person employed under contract by a school district; and

(2)  shall by reference be made a part of any contract that is entered into by a school district in this state for the transportation of schoolchildren on a privately owned school bus.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.119(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 309, Sec. 9.02, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  547.702.  Additional Equipment Requirements For Authorized Emergency Vehicles.

(a) An authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle, or bell:

(1)  of a type approved by the department; and

(2)  that emits a sound audible under normal conditions at a distance of at least 500 feet.

(b)  The operator of an authorized emergency vehicle shall use the siren, whistle, or bell when necessary to warn other vehicle operators or pedestrians of the approach of the emergency vehicle.

(c)  Except as provided by this section, an authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with signal lamps that:

(1)  are mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable;

(2)  display four alternately flashing red lights, two located on the front at the same level and two located on the rear at the same level; and

(3)  emit a light visible at a distance of 500 feet in normal sunlight.

(d)  A private vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter responding to a fire alarm or a medical emergency may, but is not required to, be equipped with signal lamps that comply with the requirements of Subsection (c).

(e)  A private vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter responding to a fire alarm or a medical emergency may be equipped with a signal lamp that is temporarily attached to the vehicle roof and flashes a red light visible at a distance of at least 500 feet in normal sunlight.

(f)  A police vehicle may, but is not required to, be equipped with signal lamps that comply with Subsection (c).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  547.703.  Additional Equipment Requirements For Slow-moving Vehicles.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a slow-moving vehicle shall display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem that:

(1)  has a reflective surface designed to be clearly visible in daylight or at night from the light of standard automobile headlamps at a distance of at least 500 feet;

(2)  is mounted base down on the rear of the vehicle at a height from three to five feet above the road surface; and

(3)  is maintained in a clean, reflective condition.

(b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to a vehicle that is used in construction or maintenance work and is traveling in a construction area that is marked as required by the Texas Transportation Commission.

(c)  If a motor vehicle displaying a slow-moving-vehicle emblem tows machinery, including an implement of husbandry, and the visibility of the emblem is not obstructed, the towed unit is not required to display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem.

(d)  A golf cart that is operated at a speed of not more than 25 miles per hour is required to display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem when it is operated on a public highway, as defined by Section 502.001, under Section 551.403 or 551.404.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 12(2), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 12(2), eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter M. Additional Or Alternative Equipment Requirements For Motorcycles And Motor-driven Cycles

Section  547.801.  Lighting Equipment.

(a) A motorcycle, including a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with:

(1)  not more than two headlamps mounted at a height from 24 to 54 inches;

(2)  at least one taillamp mounted at a height from 20 to 72 inches;

(3)  a taillamp or separate lamp to illuminate the rear license plate that complies with the requirements of Sections 547.322(f) and (g);

(4)  at least one stoplamp that complies with the requirements of Section 547.323(d); and

(5)  at least one rear red reflector that complies with the requirements of Section 547.325(b) and may be included as a part of the taillamp.

(b)  A motorcycle, other than a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with multiple-beam lighting equipment that produces:

(1)  an uppermost distribution of light that reveals a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 300 feet ahead; and

(2)  a lowermost distribution of light that:

(A)  reveals a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 150 feet ahead; and

(B)  is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam on the motorcycle that is on a straight and level road under any condition of loading projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator.

(c)  A motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with:

(1)  multiple-beam lighting equipment that complies with the requirements of Subsection (b); or

(2)  single-beam lighting equipment that:

(A)  emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle:

(i)  at a distance of at least 100 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed less than 25 miles per hour;

(ii)  at a distance of at least 200 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed of 25 miles per hour or more; and

(iii)  at a distance of at least 300 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed of 35 miles per hour or more; and

(B)  is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam from the lamp on a loaded cycle projects a beam higher than the level center of the lamp for a distance of 25 feet ahead.

(d)  A motorcycle may not be operated at any time unless at least one headlamp on the motorcycle is illuminated. This subsection does not apply to a motorcycle manufactured before the model year 1975.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 782, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  547.802.  Brake Equipment.

(a) If a motorcycle, including a motor-driven cycle, complies with the performance requirements of Section 547.408, brakes are not required on the wheel of a sidecar attached to the cycle.

(b)  If a motor-driven cycle complies with the performance standards of Section 547.408, brakes are not required on the front wheel of the cycle.

(c)  The director may require an inspection of a motor-driven cycle braking system and may disapprove a system that:

(1)  does not comply with the brake performance requirements in Section 547.408; or

(2)  is not designed or constructed to ensure reasonable and reliable performance during actual use.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


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