2005 California Vehicle Code Sections 27450-27503 Article 4. Tires

VEHICLE CODE
SECTION 27450-27503

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.
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.
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.
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.
27454.  No tire on any vehicle upon any highway shall 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 so constructed 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) Pneumatic tires containing metal-type studs of tungsten
carbide or other suitable material that are so inserted or
constructed 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, between November 1
and April 30 of each year.  The commissioner, after consultation with
the Department of Transportation, may extend the period during which
studded pneumatic tires may be used in any area 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 so inserted or
constructed 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


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