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     Idaho Statutes

Idaho Statutes are updated to the website July 1 following the legislative session.


49-933.  Brakes. (1) Every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold the vehicle, including two (2) separate means of applying the brakes, each of which means shall be effective to apply the brakes to at least two (2) wheels. If the two (2) separate means of applying the brakes are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one (1) part of the operating mechanism shall not leave the motor vehicle without brakes on at least two (2) wheels.
(2)  Every motorcycle and every motor-driven cycle, when operated upon a highway, shall be equipped with at least one (1) brake, which may be operated by hand or foot.
(3)  Every trailer or semitrailer of an unladen weight of one thousand five hundred (1,500) pounds or more when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold the vehicle and be designed to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab. The brakes shall be designed and so connected that in case of an accidental breakaway of the towed vehicle, the brakes shall be automatically applied.
(4)  Every new motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer sold in this state and operated upon the highways shall be equipped with service brakes upon all wheels of the vehicle, except that any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, trucks and truck tractors having three (3) or more axles need not have brakes on the front wheels. Vehicles equipped with at least two (2) steerable axles need not be equipped with brakes on the wheels of one (1) axle, and any trailer or semitrailer of less than one thousand five hundred (1,500) pounds unladen weight need not be equipped with brakes. Every farm trailer while being used hauling agricultural products from farm to storage, marketing or processing plant, or returning therefrom, and used within a radius of fifty (50) miles, shall be exempt from these braking requirements.
(5)  One (1) of the means of brake operation shall consist of a mechanical connection from the operating lever, or by equivalent means to the brake shoes or bands, and this brake shall be capable of holding the vehicle, or combination of vehicles, stationary under any condition of loading on any upgrade or downgrade upon which it is operated.
(6)  Brake shoes operating within or upon the drums on the vehicle wheels of any motor vehicle may be used for both service and hand operation.
(7)  Every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, at all times and under all conditions of loading, shall, upon application of the service (foot) brake, be capable of decelerating and developing a braking force equivalent to minimum required deceleration, and stopping within the requirements set forth in this subsection:
breaking force in
percentage of
in feet
vehicle or
in feet
per second
combination weight
Passenger vehicles,

  not including buses

Single-unit vehicles with a
  manufacturer’s gross vehicle
  weight rating of less than

  10,000 pounds

Single-unit, 2-axle vehicles with a
  manufacturer’s gross
  vehicle weight rating of

  10,000 or more pounds

All other vehicles and
  combinations with a
  manufacturer’s gross
  vehicle weight rating of

  10,000 or more pounds


Compliance with these standards shall be determined either by actual road tests conducted on a substantially level, not to exceed a plus or minus one per cent (1%) grade, dry, smooth, hard-surfaced road that is free from loose material, with stopping distances measured from the actual instant braking controls are moved and from an initial speed of twenty (20) miles per hour; or else by suitable mechanical tests in a testing lane which recreates the same conditions; or by a combination of both methods.
(8)  All brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall be adjusted to operate as equally as practicable with respect to the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle.

[49-933, added 1988, ch. 265, sec. 257, p. 704; am. 2015, ch. 208, sec. 7, p. 644.]

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