Effective date note
This section is shown as amended eff. 5-1-20 by 2019 Wis. Act 50
. Prior to 5-1-20 it reads:
Effective date text
347.42 Windshield wipers. No person may operate on a highway any motor vehicle equipped with a windshield, except a moped or Type 1 motorcycle, unless the motor vehicle also is equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield. The device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the operator of the vehicle and shall at all times be maintained in good working order.
See also s. Trans 305.35
, Wis. adm. code.
In this section, “safety glass" means glass so treated or combined with other materials as to reduce, in comparison with ordinary sheet glass or plate glass, the likelihood of injury to persons by objects from external sources or by such glass when it is struck, cracked or broken.
No person may operate upon a highway any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1936, except a recreational vehicle other than a 5th-wheel recreational vehicle, unless the motor vehicle is equipped with safety glass wherever glass is used on the motor vehicle in partitions, doors, windows or windshields.
No person may sell any new motor vehicle unless such vehicle is equipped with safety glass in accordance with the requirements of sub. (1s)
If a common carrier or person operating under a permit or certificate issued by the department is convicted of operating a vehicle in violation of this section, the department may suspend or revoke the permit or certificate until such time as the vehicle has been equipped with safety glass as required by this section.
See also ss. Trans 305.32
, Wis. adm. code.
Sub. (1) [now sub. (1s)] requires that whenever broken glass is replaced in a vehicle it must be replaced with safety glass. Replacing glass with plastic violated this section, and an officer observing a vehicle with replacement plastic had probable cause to stop the vehicle for a violation of this section. State v. Longcore, 2001 WI App 15
, 240 Wis. 2d 429
, 623 N.W.2d 201
Vehicle monitoring and feedback.
Notwithstanding s. 346.88
, a person may operate a vehicle that has a device mounted to the front windshield if all of the following apply:
The device is designed to monitor the vehicle and provide feedback to the operator for the purpose of safety or improving vehicle operation.
The device is mounted directly above, behind, or below the mirror required in s. 347.40 (1)
or, if no mirror is present, at the location where the mirror would typically be mounted.
The device is mounted in a manner consistent with applicable federal requirements if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 49 CFR 390.5
History: 2015 a. 160
Painting requirements for school buses; restrictions as to painting of other vehicles. 347.44(1)(1)
All school buses shall be painted as follows:
With the exception of trim, the body, including hood, fenders, cowl and roof shall be painted a uniform color, national school bus glossy yellow, according to national institute of standards and technology specifications;
The body trim, if used, shall be black; and
The words, “SCHOOL BUS", in black letters at least 8 inches high shall appear on both the front and rear of the upper body area or on a sign attached thereto.
A motor vehicle described in s. 340.01 (56) (b)
may, but need not, comply with sub. (1)
. If the motor vehicle complies with sub. (1)
, the vehicle shall comply with other regulations relating to school buses prescribed by the department by rule.
No person may paint or in any way designate a motor vehicle in the manner described in sub. (1)
except as expressly authorized by this section.
When a motor vehicle in compliance with sub. (1)
, s. 347.25 (2)
, and the rules of the department relating to school bus equipment is no longer operated as a school bus, the registration of the motor vehicle for another purpose may not be permitted until the owner:
Physically removes the signs identifying the vehicle as a school bus, the lights required by s. 347.25 (2)
and such other equipment as the department may specify by rule; and
Repaints the entire vehicle to a color other than national school bus glossy yellow or any color commonly referred to as yellow.
See also ch. Trans 300
, Wis. adm. code.
Crossing gates for school buses.
No person may operate a school bus that is painted as provided in s. 347.44
unless it is equipped with a retractable crossing gate on the front of the bus that, when in use, prevents children from crossing in front of the school bus in such proximity that they are not visible to the operator of the school bus from the operator's seat. The secretary shall prescribe rules for the specifications, installation, and operation of crossing gates required under this section.
History: 2001 a. 58
Additional safety mirrors on school buses.
A school bus that is painted as provided in s. 347.44
may be equipped with a supplemental mirror system, mounted on the passenger side of the school bus and designed to enhance operator visibility of children near the passenger side of the school bus, if the supplemental mirror system does not make inoperative or diminish the performance of any other mirror or safety device required on the school bus.
History: 2011 a. 223
All automobiles, motor trucks, motor buses, truck tractors, trailers, semitrailers, recreational vehicles, and mobile homes when operated upon a highway shall be completely equipped with tires inflated with compressed air and all other motor vehicles when operated on a highway shall be equipped with tires of rubber or of some material or construction of equal resiliency. No person may operate on a highway any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, recreational vehicle, or mobile home having any metal tire in contact with the roadway, except that tire chains of reasonable proportions may be used when required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid, and except as provided in sub. (2) (c)
No person shall operate on a highway any vehicle, including farm tractors, implements of husbandry, animal-drawn vehicles and road machinery, if such vehicle has on the periphery of any of its tires any block, stud, flange, cleat, spike or other protuberance of any material other than rubber which projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire, except that:
Farm tractors, implements of husbandry, bicycles, animal-drawn vehicles, and road machinery may be operated with metal tires or tires having protuberances that will not injure the highway.
Tire chains of reasonable proportions may be used on any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.
A pneumatic tire may have embedded in it wire or wire coils for improving traction on ice and snow, but such tire shall be so constructed that the percentage of wire or wire coils in contact with the roadway does not exceed, after the first 1,000 miles of use or operation, 5 percent of the total tire area in contact with the roadway. During the first 1,000 miles of use or operation of any such tire the wire or wire coils in contact with the roadway shall not exceed 20 percent of the total tire area in contact with the roadway. Tires equipped with tungsten carbide studs shall be limited in usage and design as follows:
The department shall, by rule, designate the times of year during which any type of tire described in this paragraph may be used.
Such tires may be used only on authorized emergency vehicles, school buses, vehicles used to deliver mail and automobiles with out-of-state registrations and then only if such automobile is in the course of passing through this state for a period of not more than 30 days.
Such studs shall not project more than one-eighth inch beyond the tread surface of the tire.
The authority in charge of maintenance of the highway in question may, in its discretion, issue a special permit authorizing operation upon such highway of a vehicle the operation of which would otherwise be prohibited under this section.
No person shall knowingly operate on any highway any vehicle on which any tire has been regrooved or recut or offer such tire for sale or exchange. This subsection shall not apply to regrooved or recut commercial vehicle tires which are designed and constructed in such a manner that regrooving or recutting is an acceptable and safe practice, nor does this subsection apply to regrooving or recutting done in a tire recapping process.
Notwithstanding sub. (2)
, an implement of husbandry equipped with rubber tracks or tracks made of equivalent material may be operated on a highway if such operation will not injure the highway.
Modifications to height of vehicle. 347.455(1)(1)
Except as further provided in this section, no person may operate any vehicle on a highway if modifications have been made to the suspension system, axles or chassis of the vehicle which cause any portion of the vehicle to ride more than 4 inches above the height of the vehicle specified by the manufacturer. The height of the vehicle shall be measured from the level surface on which the vehicle stands.
If the modification is for the purpose of strengthening or improving handling, modifications may be made to the suspension system, axles or chassis of a 4-wheel drive vehicle or a motor truck which has a gross weight of not more than 8,000 pounds which cause the vehicle to ride 5 or less inches above the height of the vehicle specified by the manufacturer. The height of the vehicle shall be measured from the level surface on which the vehicle stands.
A 4-wheel drive vehicle or a motor truck which has a gross weight of not more than 8,000 pounds may be modified to use a tire and wheel size which exceeds the wheel and tire size specified by the manufacturer for the vehicle by up to 4 inches in radius.
No person may operate any vehicle on a highway if modifications have been made to the suspension system, axles, chassis or exhaust system of the vehicle which cause any portion of the vehicle, except the tires, to extend below lines drawn from the bottom of each wheel rim to the points of contact between the tires on the opposite side and opposite end of the vehicle and the level surface on which the vehicle stands.
History: 1981 c. 216
; 1993 a. 165
Fenders and mudguards. 347.46(1)(1)
No person shall operate a vehicle of the tractor type on a highway unless the driving wheels of such vehicle are protected by suitable fenders.
No person shall operate on a highway in intercity movement any privately owned motor truck or privately owned semitrailer drawn by a truck tractor, except those motor trucks and semitrailers equipped with dump bodies, unless such motor truck or semitrailer is equipped with rear fenders or mudguards of such material and so constructed and placed as to restrict to a minimum the splashing of water, mud or other material which may be thrown by the rear wheels. Such rear fenders or mudguards shall meet the following minimum specifications:
The fenders or mudguards shall cover the tire or multiple tires they are protecting starting at the top from a line drawn vertically through the center of the axle and extending rearward and downward so that the fender or mudguard under any condition of operation or loading of the vehicle has a ground clearance of not more than one third of the horizontal distance from the center of the rearmost axle to the fender or mudguard;
The fenders or mudguards shall be at least as wide as the tire or multiple tires they are protecting;
If the vehicle is so designed and constructed that the rear wheels are covered in the manner specified in pars. (a)
by means of fenders, body construction or other means of enclosure, then no special mudguards are required. Otherwise, the vehicle shall be equipped with special mudguards to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of pars. (a)
See also ss. Trans 305.22
, Wis. adm. code.
Drawbars, trailer hitches and mobile home couplings. 347.47(1)(1)
No person shall operate a vehicle towing or drawing another vehicle or vehicles on a highway if the drawbar or other connection between any 2 vehicles exceeds 12 feet in length.
No person shall operate a motor vehicle drawing a trailer, semitrailer, recreational vehicle, or mobile home upon a highway unless the hitch and coupling attaching the trailer, semitrailer, recreational vehicle, or mobile home to the vehicle by which it is drawn is of such construction as to cause such trailer, semitrailer, recreational vehicle, or mobile home to follow in direct line with the propelling vehicle without dangerous side swing or wobble. The hitch and coupling, the surface to which they are attached, and the connections, shall be of sufficient strength to prevent failure under all conditions of operation. The hitch is that part of the connecting mechanism, including the coupling platform and its attaching members or weldments, which is attached to the towing vehicle. The coupling is that part of the connecting mechanism, including the coupling and its attaching members or weldments, which is attached to the trailer, recreational vehicle, or mobile home and by which connection is made to the hitch. If a device is used between the trailer proper and the coupling such as a pole, such device shall also meet the requirements of this section.
In addition to the hitch and coupling specified in sub. (2)
, every towed vehicle shall be coupled to the towing vehicle by means of safety chains, leveling bars or cables. This requirement does not apply to a semitrailer having a connecting device composed of a 5th wheel and kingpin assembly, nor to a pole or pipe dolly. The safety chains, leveling bars or cables shall have only the necessary slack to permit proper turning and safety chains or cables shall be so connected to the towed and towing vehicle to prevent the drawbar from dropping to the ground if the hitch or coupling disengages. Two separate lengths of safety chain, leveling bars or cable shall be required on all trailers and mobile homes; however, the department may authorize use of such other appropriate equipment or methods approved by nationally recognized organizations which recommend safety standards for motor vehicles.
Trailer, semitrailer, recreational vehicle, and mobile home couplings and the safety chains, leveling bars or cables shall be of such minimum strength, design and type as established by published rule of the department.
Airbags, prohibited practices. 347.475(1)(1)
In this section, “airbag" means an inflatable restraint system that is designed to be installed and to operate in a motor vehicle to deploy by inflating upon an impact of the vehicle with another object.
No person may, either personally or through an agent, sell, install, reinstall, or distribute any previously deployed airbag. This subsection does not apply to the sale of a motor vehicle with a previously deployed airbag unless the deployment is concealed or disguised.
No person may, either personally or through an agent, remove, disconnect, tamper with, or otherwise circumvent the operation of any airbag, except for the purpose of testing, repairing, or maintaining an airbag, salvaging an undeployed airbag, disposing of a deployed airbag, or replacing a deployed airbag with a functional airbag. This subsection does not apply to the installation or use of an on-off switch by any person who is authorized by federal law or regulation to install or use an on-off switch for an airbag.
No person may, either personally or through an agent, install a cover or otherwise conceal or disguise a missing airbag or a previously deployed airbag.
History: 2001 a. 28
Safety belts and child safety restraint systems. 347.48(1)(a)
No person may buy, sell, lease, trade or transfer a motor vehicle other than an automobile at retail from or to Wisconsin residents unless the vehicle is equipped with safety belts installed for use as required under 49 CFR 571
, and no such vehicle may be operated in this state unless such belts remain installed.
No person may buy, sell, lease, trade or transfer an automobile that is required under 49 CFR 571
to be equipped with safety belts from or to a resident of this state unless the front designated seating positions of the automobile are equipped with safety belts installed for use as required under 49 CFR 571
and unless each rear outboard designated seating position of the automobile is equipped with a safety belt consisting of a combination of a pelvic and upper torso restraint that conforms to standards for a Type 2 seat belt assembly under 49 CFR 571.209
, and no automobile may be operated in this state unless such belts remain installed. Nothing in this section applies to antique reproductions.
Type and manner of installing.
All such safety belts must be of a type and must be installed in a manner approved by the department. The department shall establish specifications and requirements for approved types of safety belts and attachments thereto. The department will accept, as approved, all seat belt installations and the belt and anchor meeting the society of automotive engineers' specifications.
In this subsection, “properly restrained" means wearing a safety belt approved by the department under sub. (2)
and fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the safety belt which permits the safety belt to act as a body restraint.
If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person may operate that motor vehicle unless the person is properly restrained in a safety belt.
If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person may operate that motor vehicle unless each passenger who is at least 8 years old and who is seated at a designated seating position in the front seat required under 49 CFR 571
to have a safety belt installed or at a designated seating position in the seats, other than the front seats, for which a safety belt is required to be installed is properly restrained.
If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person who is at least 8 years old and who is seated at a designated seating position in the front seat required under 49 CFR 571
to have a safety belt installed or at a designated seating position in the seats, other than the front seats, for which a safety belt is required to be installed may be a passenger in that motor vehicle unless the person is properly restrained.
do not apply to the operation of an authorized emergency vehicle by a law enforcement officer or other authorized operator under circumstances in which compliance could endanger the safety of the operator or another.
does not apply to the operator of a vehicle while on a route which requires the operator to make more than 10 stops per mile involving an exit from the vehicle in the scope of his or her employment. Paragraphs (c)
do not apply to a passenger while on a route which requires the passenger to make more than 10 stops per mile involving an exit from the vehicle in the scope of his or her employment.
The department shall, by rule, exempt from the requirements under pars. (b)
persons who, because of a physical or medical condition, cannot be properly restrained in a safety belt.
See also ch. Trans 315
, Wis. adm. code.