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347.45 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. Trans 306 and s. Trans 305.30, Wis. adm. code.
347.455 347.455 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.
347.455(2) (2) 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.
347.455(3) (3) 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.
347.455(4) (4) 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.
347.455 History History: 1981 c. 216; 1993 a. 165.
347.455 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.18, 305.29, and 305.31, Wis. adm. code.
347.46 347.46 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.
347.46(2) (2) 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:
347.46(2)(a) (a) 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;
347.46(2)(b) (b) The fenders or mudguards shall be at least as wide as the tire or multiple tires they are protecting;
347.46(2)(c) (c) If the vehicle is so designed and constructed that the rear wheels are covered in the manner specified in pars. (a) and (b) 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) and (b).
347.46 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.22 and 305.53, Wis. adm. code.
347.47 347.47 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.
347.47(2) (2) 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.
347.47(3) (3) 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.
347.47(4) (4) 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.
347.47 History History: 1971 c. 88; 1977 c. 29 ss. 1654 (7) (e); 1979 c. 34; 2007 a. 11.
347.47 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. Trans 308 and s. Trans 305.52, Wis. adm. code.
347.475 347.475 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.
347.475(2) (2) 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.
347.475(3) (3) 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.
347.475(4) (4) 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.
347.475 History History: 2001 a. 28.
347.48 347.48 Safety belts and child safety restraint systems.
347.48(1)(1) Safety belts required.
347.48(1)(a)(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.
347.48(1)(b) (b) 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.
347.48(2) (2)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.
347.48(2m) (2m)Required use.
347.48(2m)(a)(a) 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.
347.48(2m)(b) (b) 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.
347.48(2m)(c) (c) 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.
347.48(2m)(d) (d) 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.
347.48(2m)(dm) (dm) Paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) 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.
347.48(2m)(dr) (dr) Paragraph (b) 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) and (d) 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.
347.48(2m)(e) (e) The department shall, by rule, exempt from the requirements under pars. (b) to (d) persons who, because of a physical or medical condition, cannot be properly restrained in a safety belt.
347.48 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. Trans 315, Wis. adm. code.
347.48(2m)(f)1.1. This subsection does not apply if the motor vehicle is a taxicab or is not required to be equipped with safety belts under sub. (1) or 49 CFR 571.
347.48(2m)(f)2. 2. This subsection does not apply to a privately owned motor vehicle while being operated by a rural letter carrier for the delivery of mail or while being operated by a delivery person for the delivery of newspapers or periodicals.
347.48(2m)(f)3. 3. This subsection does not apply to a motor vehicle while being operated by a land surveying crew while conducting a land survey along or upon the highway.
347.48(2m)(f)7. 7. This subsection does not apply to a farm truck or dual purpose farm truck while being used in conjunction with the planting or harvesting of crops and not being operated upon the highway.
347.48(2m)(g) (g) Evidence of compliance or failure to comply with par. (b), (c) or (d) is admissible in any civil action for personal injuries or property damage resulting from the use or operation of a motor vehicle. Notwithstanding s. 895.045, with respect to injuries or damages determined to have been caused by a failure to comply with par. (b), (c) or (d), such a failure shall not reduce the recovery for those injuries or damages by more than 15%. This paragraph does not affect the determination of causal negligence in the action.
347.48(2m)(gm) (gm) A law enforcement officer may not take a person into physical custody solely for a violation of this subsection or sub. (1) or (2) or a local ordinance in conformity with this subsection, sub. (1) or (2) or rules of the department.
347.48(3m) (3m)Safety belt information program. The department shall develop and administer a public information program to promote safety belt awareness and use.
347.48(4) (4)Child safety restraint systems required; standards; exemptions.
347.48(4)(ag)(ag) In this subsection:
347.48(4)(ag)1. 1. "Child booster seat" means a child passenger restraint system that meets the applicable federal standards under 49 CFR 571.213 and is designed to elevate a child from a vehicle seat to allow the vehicle's safety belt to be properly positioned over the child's body.
347.48(4)(ag)2. 2. "Designated seating position" has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.
347.48(4)(ag)3. 3. "Properly restrained" means any of the following:
347.48(4)(ag)3.a. a. With respect to par. (as) 1. and 2., fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the child safety restraint system which permits the system to act as a body restraint but does not include a system in which the only body restraint is a safety belt of the type required under sub. (1).
347.48(4)(ag)3.b. b. With respect to par. (as) 3., wearing a safety belt consisting of a combination lap belt and shoulder harness approved by the department under sub. (2) and fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the safety belt so that the safety belt properly fits across the child's lap and the center of the child's chest in a manner appropriate to the child's height, weight, and age that permits the safety belt to act as a body restraint.
347.48(4)(ag)3.c. c. With respect to par. (as) 4., fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the system which permits the system to act as a body restraint.
347.48(4)(am) (am) No person may transport a child under the age of 8 in a motor vehicle unless the child is restrained in compliance with par. (as) in a safety restraint system that is appropriate to the child's age and size and that meets the standards established by the department under this paragraph. The department shall, by rule, establish standards in compliance with applicable federal standards, including standards under 49 CFR 571.213, for child safety restraint systems.
347.48(4)(as) (as) A child under the age of 8 years who is being transported in a motor vehicle shall be restrained as follows:
347.48(4)(as)1. 1. If the child is less than one year old or weighs less than 20 pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing child safety restraint system, positioned at a designated seating position in a back passenger seat of the vehicle if the vehicle is equipped with a back passenger seat.
347.48(4)(as)2. 2. Subject to subd. 1., if the child is at least one year old and weighs at least 20 pounds but is less than 4 years old or weighs less than 40 pounds, the child shall be properly restrained as provided in subd. 1. or properly restrained in a forward-facing child safety restraint system, positioned at a designated seating position in a back passenger seat of the vehicle if the vehicle is equipped with a back passenger seat.
347.48(4)(as)3. 3. Subject to subds. 1. and 2., if the child is at least 4 years old but less than 8 years old, weighs at least 40 pounds but not more than 80 pounds, and is not more than 57 inches in height, the child shall be properly restrained as provided in subd. 2. or properly restrained in a child booster seat.
347.48(4)(as)4. 4. Subject to subds. 1. to 3., if the child is less than 8 years old, the child shall be properly restrained as provided in subds. 1. to 3. or properly restrained in a safety belt approved by the department under sub. (2).
347.48(4)(b) (b) The department may, by rule, exempt from the requirements under pars. (am) and (as) any child who because of a physical or medical condition or body size cannot be placed in a child safety restraint system, child booster seat, or safety belt.
347.48(4)(c) (c) This subsection does not apply if the motor vehicle is a motor bus, school bus, taxicab, moped, motorcycle or is not required to be equipped with safety belts under sub. (1) or 49 CFR 571.
347.48(4)(d) (d) Evidence of compliance or failure to comply with pars. (am) and (as) is admissible in any civil action for personal injuries or property damage resulting from the use or operation of a motor vehicle but failure to comply with pars. (am) and (as) does not by itself constitute negligence.
347.48 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. Trans 310 and s. Trans 305.27, Wis. adm. code.
347.48 Annotation "Seat belt negligence" and "passive negligence" are distinguished. Jury instructions regarding seat belts are recommended. A method for apportioning damages in seat belt negligence cases is adopted. Foley v. City of West Allis, 113 Wis. 2d 475, 335 N.W.2d 824 (1983).
347.48 Annotation A common law action for contribution may not be brought against a person who violates sub. (2m) (g). Gaertner v. Holcka, 219 Wis. 2d 436, 580 N.W.2d 271 (1998), 96-2726.
347.48 Annotation A statute requiring the wearing of seat belts in motor vehicles would be constitutional. 58 Atty. Gen. 241.
347.48 Annotation The seat belt defense — state of the law. Kircher, 53 MLR 172.
347.48 Annotation The seat belt defense — the trial lawyer's view. Bowman, 53 MLR 191.
347.48 Annotation Practical defense problems — the expert's view. Huelke, 53 MLR 203.
347.48 Annotation The seat belt as a cause of injury. Snyder, 53 MLR 211.
347.485 347.485 Protective headgear for use on Type 1 motorcycles.
347.485(1)(1)
347.485(1)(a)(a) No person who holds an instructional permit under s. 343.07 (4) or who is under 18 years of age may operate or ride upon a Type 1 motorcycle on any highway unless the person is wearing protective headgear of a type which meets the standards established for motorcycle operation in 49 CFR 571.218 and the chin strap is properly fastened.
347.485(1)(am) (am) No person may operate a Type 1 motorcycle when carrying a passenger under 18 years of age unless the passenger is wearing protective headgear.
347.485(1)(b) (b) No person may sell or offer for sale any protective headgear for use by a driver or passenger on a Type 1 motorcycle, not meeting the standards established for motorcycle operation in 49 CFR 571.218.
347.485(2) (2)
347.485(2)(a)(a) No person may operate a motorcycle on any highway without wearing any of the following eye protection:
347.485(2)(a)1. 1. A protective face shield attached to the headgear.
347.485(2)(a)2. 2. Glasses.
347.485(2)(a)3. 3. Goggles.
347.485(2)(b) (b) Except for photosensitive corrective glasses prescribed by an ophthalmologist, physician, oculist or optometrist, eye protection worn during hours of darkness may not be tinted or darkened.
347.485(2)(c) (c) Notwithstanding par. (a), if the motorcycle is a Type 2 motorcycle equipped with a windshield or a Type 1 motorcycle equipped with a windshield that rises a minimum of 15 inches above the handlebar, the use of other eye protective devices is not mandatory.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)