Is there any statutory authority to stop a dually pickup truck because it is missing a mudflap? I've scoured the transportation code and the closest authority I can find is the 547.004 general offense of operating a vehicle that is unsafe so as to endanger a person (AKA "defective equipment"). If this is all I have to rely upon I will need some evidence as to how this was putting persons in danger -- flying gravel perforating hapless hitchhikers perhaps.
Any ideas on where there might be some specific authority for this stop?
If it's a dually, so has four wheels on the rear axle, and is towing it might fall within Tex. Transp. Code sec. 547.606. See TDCAA Transportation Code Crimes and License Suspensions (2009-2011).
Thanks John. For some reason, 547.606 isn't listed in my TDCAA book 2004 version, but seems that statute was enacted in 1995. I don't think the dually was towing at the time, but seems to me that it would fit under the definition of a "truck" (541.201). The statute seems requires "trucks" to have flaps. The definition of truck is uncomfortably broad.
Now I need to go make sure the hard plastic "flaps" behind the rear wheels of my one-ton Ford are of a type prescribed by the department.
I have one ton truck with single rear wheels and with which I pull gooseneck trailers. I interpret the statute not to apply to it. The stock trailer has twin axles with single wheels and no flaps but the flatbed has twin axles with duallies and mud flaps.
[This message was edited by John A. Stride on 10-19-10 at .]
Check out the DPS website's inspection criteria for safety guards (aka mudflaps) at www.txdps.state.tx.us/vi/inspection/rules_list.asp?itemdrop=Safety+Guards+or+flaps
That is one poorly written statute. One shouldn't have to interpret a staute that speaks to such a simple concept as which vehicles require mudflaps. The statute could be read as to require mudflaps on all road tractors, trucks and trailers. The DPS inspection requirements seem to require them on all dually pickups so I'm gonna go with that.
Thanks a bunch for your input and helping me think through this.
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