Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 12. EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES [24000 - 28160]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 5. Other Equipment [27000 - 28160]

  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 4. Tires [27450 - 27503]
  ( Article 4 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

27450.
  

When any vehicle is equipped with any solid tire, the solid tire shall have a minimum thickness of resilient rubber as follows:

(a) If the width of the tire is three inches but less than six inches, one inch thick.

(b) If the width of the tire is six inches but not more than nine inches, 11/4 inches thick.

(c) If the width of the tire is more than nine inches, 11/2 inches thick.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

27451.
  

The rubber of a solid tire shall be measured between the surface of the roadway and the nearest metal part of the base flange to which the tire is attached at the point where the concentrated weight of the vehicle bears upon the surface of the roadway.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

27452.
  

The required thickness of rubber shall extend evenly around the entire periphery of the tire. The entire solid tire shall be securely attached to the channel base and shall be without flat spots or bumpy rubber.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

27453.
  

There shall not be an average difference greater than 1/8 inch between the outside diameters of each single tire composing a dual solid rubber tire.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

27454.
  

A tire on a vehicle upon a highway shall not have on its periphery any block, stud, flange, cleat, ridge, bead, or any other protuberance of metal or wood that projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire.

This section does not apply to any of the following:

(a) Tire traction devices of reasonable size used to prevent skidding when upon wet surfaces or when upon snow or ice.

(b) Pneumatic tires that have embedded therein wire not to exceed 0.075 of an inch in diameter and that are constructed so that under no conditions will the percentage of metal in contact with the roadway exceed 5 percent of the total tire area in contact with the roadway, except that during the first 1,000 miles of use or operation of the tire, the metal in contact with the roadway may exceed 5 percent of the tire area in contact with the roadway, but shall in no event exceed 20 percent of the area.

(c) Vehicles operated upon unimproved roadways when necessary in the construction or repair of highways.

(d) Traction engines or tractors when operated under the conditions of a permit first obtained from the Department of Transportation.

(e) (1) Pneumatic tires containing metal-type studs of tungsten carbide or other suitable material that are inserted or constructed so that under no condition will the number of studs or the percentage of metal in contact with the roadway exceed 3 percent of the total tire area in contact with the roadway, between November 1 and April 30 of each year. A vehicle may be equipped year-round with tires that have studs that retract pneumatically or mechanically when not in use, if the studs are retracted between May 1 and October 31 of each year. A tire on a vehicle shall not be worn to a point at which the studs protrude beyond the tire tread when retracted.

(2) The commissioner, after consultation with the Department of Transportation, may extend the period during which the studded pneumatic tires may be used with studs deployed or inserted in areas of the state for the protection of the public because of adverse weather conditions.

(f) Pneumatic tires used on an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, containing metal-type studs of tungsten carbide or other suitable material, if the studs are inserted or constructed so that under no conditions will the number of studs or the percentage of metal in contact with the roadway exceed 3 percent of the total tire area in contact with the roadway. Notwithstanding subdivision (e), authorized emergency vehicles are permitted the unrestricted use of studded pneumatic tires throughout the year.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 220, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)

27455.
  

(a) On and after January 1, 1975, no person shall sell or offer for sale an inner tube for use in a radial tire unless, at the time of manufacture, the tube valve stem is colored red or is distinctly marked in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of manufacturers of inner tubes.

(b) No person shall install an inner tube in a radial tire unless the inner tube is designed for use in a radial tire.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 741.)

27459.
  

No person shall operate any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer upon any portion of a highway without tire traction devices when that portion of the highway is signed for the requirement of tire traction devices. In any case where a passenger vehicle or motortruck having an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less may be required by the Department of Transportation or local authorities to be equipped with tire traction devices, the devices shall be placed on at least two drive wheels, or the department or local authorities may provide, in the alternative, that the vehicle may be equipped with snow-tread tires on at least two drive wheels when the weather and surface conditions at the time are such that the stopping, tractive, and cornering abilities of the snow-tread tires are adequate. The snow-tread tires shall be of a type and design manufactured for use on snow as a replacement for tire chains or tire traction devices, shall be in good condition, and shall bear the marking of M-S, M/S, or other marking indicating that the tire was manufactured for use on snow, or, in the case of tires purchased before January 1, 1987, shall either bear the markings or, in the opinion of the inspecting officer, comply with the tread pattern requirements of Section 558.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 71, Sec. 4. Effective May 1, 1990.)

27459.5.
  

(a) No person shall sell, offer for sale, lease, install, or replace on a vehicle for use on a highway, any tire traction devices which are not in compliance with requirements specified in Section 605.

(b) Every manufacturer who sells, offers for sale, or manufactures for use upon a vehicle, tire traction devices subject to the requirements of Section 605 shall, before the device is offered for sale, have laboratory test data showing compliance with those requirements. Tests may be conducted by the manufacturer.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 71, Sec. 5. Effective May 1, 1990.)

27460.
  

Any passenger vehicle or motortruck having an unladen weight of 6,500 pounds or less and operated and equipped with four-wheel drive and with snow-tread tires on all four drive wheels may be operated upon any portion of a highway without tire traction devices, notwithstanding the fact that the highway is signed for the requirement of those devices and provided that tire traction devices for at least one set of drive wheels are carried in or upon the vehicle. The snow-tread tires shall meet the requirements specified in Section 27459, and the vehicle shall not, when so operated, tow another vehicle except as may be necessary to move a disabled vehicle from the roadway.

No person shall use those tires on four-wheel drive vehicles in place of tire traction devices whenever weather and roadway conditions at the time are such that the stopping, tractive, and cornering abilities of the tires are not adequate or whenever the Department of Transportation or local authorities, in their respective jurisdictions, place signs prohibiting their operation unless equipped with tire traction devices.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 71, Sec. 7. Effective May 1, 1990.)

27460.5.
  

No person shall knowingly sell or offer or expose for sale any motor vehicle tire except a commercial vehicle tire, or any motor vehicle equipped with any tire except a commercial vehicle tire, which has been recut or regrooved. For purposes of this section a recut or regrooved tire is an unretreaded or unrecapped tire into which new grooves have been cut or burned.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1518.)

27461.
  

No person shall cause or permit the operation of and no driver shall knowingly operate any motor vehicle except a commercial vehicle, on any street or highway, which is equipped with one or more recut or regrooved tires. For purposes of this section a recut or regrooved tire is an unretreaded or unrecapped tire into which new grooves have been cut or burned.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1518.)

27465.
  

(a) No dealer or person holding a retail seller’s permit shall sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or install on a vehicle axle for use on a highway, a pneumatic tire when the tire has less than the tread depth specified in subdivision (b). This subdivision does not apply to any person who installs on a vehicle, as part of an emergency service rendered to a disabled vehicle upon a highway, a spare tire with which the disabled vehicle was equipped.

(b) No person shall use on a highway a pneumatic tire on a vehicle axle when the tire has less than the following tread depth, except when temporarily installed on a disabled vehicle as specified in subdivision (a):

(1) One thirty-second (1/32) of an inch tread depth in any two adjacent grooves at any location of the tire, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) Four thirty-second (4/32) of an inch tread depth at all points in all major grooves on a tire on the steering axle of any motor vehicle specified in Section 34500, and two thirty-second (2/32) of an inch tread depth at all points in all major grooves on all other tires on the axles of these vehicles.

(3) Six thirty-second (6/32) of an inch tread depth at all points in all major grooves on snow tires used in lieu of tire traction devices in posted tire traction device control areas.

(c) The measurement of tread depth shall not be made where tie bars, humps, or fillets are located.

(d) The requirements of this section shall not apply to implements of husbandry.

(e) The department, if it determines that such action is appropriate and in keeping with reasonable safety requirements, may adopt regulations establishing more stringent tread depth requirements than those specified in this section for those vehicles defined in Sections 322 and 545, and may adopt regulations establishing tread depth requirements different from those specified in this section for those vehicles listed in Section 34500.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 71, Sec. 8. Effective May 1, 1990.)

27500.
  

(a) The department may adopt regulations relating to standards for pneumatic tires of a vehicle type as it determines necessary to provide for public safety.

(b) In adopting these regulations, the department shall consider as evidence of generally accepted standards, the rules and regulations which have been adopted by the Federal Highway Administration and Rubber Manufacturers Assocation.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 216.)

27501.
  

(a) No dealer or person holding a retail seller’s permit shall sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or install on a vehicle for use on a highway, a pneumatic tire which is not in compliance with regulations adopted pursuant to Section 27500. This subdivision shall not apply to any person who installs on a vehicle, as part of an emergency service rendered to a vehicle upon a highway, a spare tire with which such disabled vehicle was equipped.

(b) No person shall use on a highway a pneumatic tire which is not in conformance with such regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 70.)

27502.
  

No dealer or person holding a retail seller’s permit shall sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or install on a vehicle for use on a highway, a tire which is not in compliance with regulations adopted pursuant to Section 27503.

(Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1197. Operative, by Sec. 3 of Ch. 1197, on operative date of regulations adopted pursuant to Section 27503.)

27503.
  

(a) The commissioner, after public hearings, shall adopt regulations setting noise standards for pneumatic tires. Such standards shall be the lowest level of noise consistent with economic and technological feasibility and with public safety as stated in the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 27500. Such standards may be adopted for each tire-vehicle type combination. The regulations may require the manufacturer to prove to the commissioner that the tire meets the standards, subject to such inspection as the commissioner prescribes. The regulations shall be filed with the Legislature eight months after the federal study on tire noise is available, and shall become operative one year after such filing.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section that the commissioner shall consider recommendations of the United States Department of Transportation before developing independent standards for tire noise.

(Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1197.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH4