Any vehicle may be equipped with lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this section. The lamps used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights, or any shade of color between white and amber. The lamps used to display such warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall show simultaneously flashing amber or red lights, or any shade of color between amber and red. These warning lights shall be visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet under normal atmospheric conditions at night. Directional signals meeting the requirements of this chapter shall be used or lamps meeting these requirements, mounted so as to comply with turn signal installation.
In addition to any other lamps authorized under this subsection, a motor truck having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds may be equipped with a 360-degree flashing or rotating amber light mounted at the highest practicable point. The flashing or rotating amber lamp may be lighted only when the motor truck is upon a highway having a maximum speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour and the motor truck is traveling 10 or more miles per hour below the maximum speed limit, is stopped, or is backing on such highway. The flashing or rotating amber lamp may not be lit at other times.
Whenever any vehicle other than an automobile, which is equipped as permitted in par. (a)
, is stopped for more than 10 minutes on the traveled portion of any highway, or shoulder thereof, during hours of darkness, the driver of such vehicle shall display warning signals as required by s. 347.29
When lighted lamps required on parked vehicles. 347.27(1)(1)
No person shall park or leave a vehicle standing, whether attended or unattended, upon a roadway or the shoulder immediately adjacent thereto during hours of darkness unless:
Such vehicle is parked or standing where there is sufficient artificial light to render it visible from a distance of 500 feet or is lawfully parked within the corporate limits of a city or village and in either case is equipped with at least one red reflector mounted on the rear thereof as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle which is closest to passing traffic and otherwise meeting the mounting and visibility requirements specified in ss. 347.18
Such vehicle displays one or more lighted lamps meeting the following requirements:
At least one lamp shall display a white or amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle, and the same lamp or at least one other lamp shall display a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
The location of such lamp or lamps shall always be such that at least one lamp or combination of lamps meeting the requirements of this section is installed as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle which is closest to passing traffic.
If the vehicle is equipped with 2 parking lamps and 2 tail lamps, both parking lamps and both tail lamps shall be lighted.
Any lighted headlamps on a vehicle parked on a highway shall be depressed or dimmed.
In this section, “vehicle" includes farm tractors, implements of husbandry, animal-drawn vehicles, lightweight utility vehicles as defined in s. 346.94 (21) (a) 2.
, and road machinery.
History: 2009 a. 157
; 2015 a. 232
Certain vehicles to carry flares or other warning devices. 347.28(1)(1)
No person shall operate a motor truck or motor bus more than 80 inches in width or a truck tractor or road tractor on any highway outside the corporate limits of a city or village during hours of darkness unless such vehicle carries in a place readily accessible to the driver the following warning devices:
At least 3 pot torches or 3 red electric lanterns or 3 red emergency reflectors, each of which shall be capable of being seen and distinguished at a distance of at least 600 feet under normal atmospheric conditions during hours of darkness. If pot torches are carried in lieu of red electric lanterns, at least 3 red-burning fusees shall be carried in addition to such pot torches; and
At least 2 red-cloth flags, not less than 12 inches square, with standards to support such flags.
No person shall operate upon a highway outside the corporate limits of a city or village during hours of darkness any motor vehicle used for the transportation of explosives or any cargo tank truck used for the transportation of flammable liquids or compressed gases unless there is carried in such vehicle 3 red electric lanterns or 3 red emergency reflectors meeting the requirements of sub. (1)
. No pot torch or fusee or signal produced by flame shall be carried in any such vehicle. Such red emergency reflectors shall comply with the specifications for such reflectors as set forth in interstate commerce commission motor carrier safety regulations.
Display of warning devices for certain vehicles when standing on highway. 347.29(1)(1)
Except as provided in s. 347.26 (11) (b)
, whenever any motor truck, motor bus, trailer or semitrailer more than 80 inches in width or truck tractor or road tractor is left standing, whether attended or unattended, during hours of darkness upon the traveled portion of any highway or the shoulder adjacent thereto outside the corporate limits of a city or village, the operator of such vehicle shall display the following warning devices upon the highway during the entire time the vehicle is so left standing and such devices shall be placed in the following order:
A lighted fusee or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector shall immediately be placed at the traffic side of the vehicle in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic. If a lighted fusee was so placed, the driver shall replace such fusee with a lighted pot torch or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector after the driver has placed the warning devices specified in pars. (b)
and before the fusee burns out.
A lighted pot torch or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector shall be placed approximately 100 feet from the standing vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by such vehicle and toward traffic approaching in that lane.
One lighted pot torch or lighted red electric lantern or a red emergency reflector shall be placed approximately 100 feet from the standing vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by such vehicle and in the opposite direction from the warning device placed in accordance with par. (b)
Whenever any vehicle referred to in this section is left standing, whether attended or unattended, within 500 feet of a curve, hillcrest or other obstruction to view, the warning signal in that direction shall be so placed as to afford ample warning to other users of the highway, but in no case less than 100 feet nor more than 500 feet from the standing vehicle.
Whenever any vehicle of a type referred to in this section is left standing, whether attended or unattended, upon any roadway of a divided highway during hours of darkness, the appropriate warning devices prescribed in subs. (1)
shall be placed as follows:
One shall be placed at a distance of approximately 200 feet from the vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by the standing vehicle and in the direction of traffic approaching in that lane;
One shall be placed at a distance of approximately 100 feet from the vehicle in the center of the lane occupied by the vehicle and in the direction of traffic approaching in that lane;
One shall be placed at the traffic side of the vehicle and approximately 10 feet from the vehicle in the direction of the nearest approaching traffic.
No operator of a motor vehicle used in the transportation of explosives, or of a cargo tank truck used for the transportation of any flammable liquid or compressed flammable gas shall use any flame-producing emergency signal for protecting any such vehicle. In lieu thereof, red electric lanterns or red emergency reflectors shall be used, the placement of which shall be in the same order and manner as prescribed in subs. (1)
Whenever any vehicle of a type referred to in this section is left standing at any place mentioned in this section at times other than during hours of darkness, the operator of the vehicle shall display 2 red flags upon the roadway in the lane of traffic occupied by the standing vehicle, one at a distance of approximately 100 feet in advance of the vehicle and one at a distance of approximately 100 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
The flares, fusees, red electric lanterns, red emergency reflectors and flags to be displayed as required in this section shall conform with the requirements of s. 347.28
This section does not apply to vehicles standing on a highway in compliance with traffic regulations or the directions of a traffic officer or official traffic sign or signal.
History: 1991 a. 316
A flag warning under sub. (5) is not applicable in a city. Northland Insurance Co. v. Avis Rent-A-Car, 62 Wis. 2d 643
, 215 N.W.2d 439
Penalty for violating lighting equipment requirements. 347.30(1)(1)
Any person violating s. 347.06
or 347.13 (2)
may be required to forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $20 for the first offense and not less than $25 nor more than $50 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year.
Notwithstanding sub. (2)
, on or after April 5, 2018, and before 6 months after April 5, 2018, if a person violates s. 347.24 (2)
by operating on a highway during hours of darkness a vehicle that is drawn by an animal and that is not equipped with 2 yellow or amber strobe lights visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear and mounted not more than 6 inches from the lateral extremities of the vehicle, a law enforcement officer shall issue the person a warning notice and may not issue a citation.
History: 1971 c. 278
; 2017 a. 228
No person shall operate any motor vehicle, other than a moped or motorcycle, upon a highway unless such motor vehicle is equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such vehicle and capable of meeting the performance specifications under s. 347.36
. There shall be 2 separate means of applying the brakes, each of which means shall be effective to apply the brakes to at least 2 wheels.
(1a) Parking brakes.
Every such vehicle and combination of vehicles, except mopeds and motorcycles, shall be equipped with parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle on any grade on which it is operated, under all conditions of loading on a surface free from snow, ice or loose material. The parking brakes shall be capable of being applied by the driver's muscular effort or by spring action or by equivalent means. Their operation may be assisted by the service brakes or other source of power provided that failure of the service brake actuation system or other power assisting mechanism will not prevent the parking brakes from being applied. The parking brakes shall be so designed that when once applied they shall remain applied with the required effectiveness despite exhaustion of any source of energy or leakage of any kind. The same brake drums, brake shoes and lining assemblies, brake shoe anchors and mechanical brake shoe actuation mechanism normally associated with the wheel brake assemblies may be used for both the service brakes and the parking brakes. If the means of applying the parking brakes and the service brakes are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part shall not leave the vehicle without operative brakes.
(2) Mopeds and motorcycles.
No person may operate a moped or motorcycle upon a highway unless the moped or motorcycle is equipped with at least one brake capable of meeting the performance specifications set forth in s. 347.36
. The brake may be designed to be operated either by hand or by foot.
(3) Trailers, semitrailers and towed vehicles. 347.35(3)(a)(a)
Except as provided in par. (am)
, no person shall operate on a highway any trailer, semitrailer or other towed vehicle having a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more and manufactured after January 1, 1942 unless such vehicle is equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold it.
A motor vehicle may be towed without being equipped with brakes as provided in par. (a)
if the gross weight of the towed vehicle is not more than 40 percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle and the brakes on the towing vehicle are capable of bringing the combination of towing vehicle and towed vehicle to a stop as provided in s. 347.36 (1)
Every full trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer or other towed vehicle required to be equipped with brakes shall be equipped with brake systems of such design and type, and capable of meeting such performance standards, as established by rule of the department.
This subsection does not apply to farm trailers or to disabled vehicles while being towed to a place of repair or to automobiles or trucks while being towed or being transported pursuant to s. 341.47 (1) (b)
(4) Mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
No person shall manufacture and no person shall sell a mobile home or recreational vehicle in this state unless such mobile home or recreational vehicle is equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold it. No person shall operate on a highway any mobile home registered as a 1940 or later year model or recreational vehicle unless such mobile home or recreational vehicle is equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold it.
No person may operate on a highway any self-propelled implement of husbandry manufactured after February 1, 1985, unless the vehicle is equipped with brakes or other stopping device adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold the implement of husbandry.
Every self-propelled implement of husbandry required to be equipped with brakes or other stopping device shall be equipped with brakes or a stopping device that meets design, type or performance standards established by the department by rule. The rule of the department under this paragraph shall comply with the applicable standard established by the American society of agricultural engineers.
Performance ability of brakes. 347.36(1)(1)
Brakes on motor vehicles and brakes on combinations of vehicles shall be capable of bringing the vehicle or combination of vehicles to a stop, under normal conditions, within 50 feet when traveling at a speed of 20 miles per hour.
All required brakes shall be maintained in good working order.
History: 1983 a. 243
See also ss. Trans 305.17
, Wis. adm. code.
Brake fluid, sale regulation. 347.37(1)(1)
After January 1, 1960, no hydraulic brake fluid for use in motor vehicles shall be sold in this state if such brake fluid is below the minimum standard of specifications established by the society of automotive engineers for heavy duty type brake fluid No. 70R1 or a later designator for an improved product.
All manufacturers of brake fluids selling such fluids in Wisconsin shall state on the immediate containers in which such fluid is packaged that the fluid therein meets or exceeds the specifications under sub. (1)
Horns and warning devices. 347.38(1)(1)
No person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a highway unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet, but no person shall at any time use a horn otherwise than as a reasonable warning or make any unnecessary or unreasonably loud or harsh sound by means of a horn or other warning device.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, no vehicle shall be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a vehicle any siren or compression or exhaust whistle.
Any vehicle may be equipped with a theft alarm signal device if such device is so arranged that it cannot be used by the driver as an ordinary warning signal.
An authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with a siren, but such siren shall not be used except when such vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, when transporting an organ for human transplantation, or when transporting medical personnel for the purpose of performing human organ harvesting or transplantation immediately after the transportation, in which events the driver of such vehicle shall sound the siren when reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers.
See also ss. Trans 305.25
, Wis. adm. code.
History: 2007 a. 20
Auxiliary lamps on emergency vehicles; traffic control signal emergency preemption devices. 347.385(1m)(b)
“Emergency preemption device" means a device, located on or within a traffic control signal, that is designed to receive an electronic, radio, light, or sound transmission from an approaching vehicle that alters the normal sequence of the traffic control signal to provide or maintain a green signal for the vehicle to proceed through the intersection.
“Transmitter" means a device that emits a signal for the purpose of activating an emergency preemption device.
An authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped and operated with lamps designed and used, or with any other transmitter designed and used, to activate emergency preemption devices.
The lamps authorized for use under this section may be any color and may be flashing, oscillating, rotating or pulsating.
No operator of an authorized emergency vehicle may use a transmitter, including lamps under sub. (2m)
, except when responding to an emergency call, when pursuing an actual or suspected violator of the law, or when responding to, but not when returning from, a fire alarm.
No person may operate upon a highway a motor vehicle, other than an authorized emergency vehicle, that is equipped with a transmitter or in which a transmitter is located. This subsection does not apply to a motor carrier or person in the business of selling transmitters to authorized users who transports a transmitter in original, unopened packaging or in an inoperative condition in an enclosed storage compartment of the vehicle.
No person may sell a transmitter except for use for authorized purposes as described in sub. (2m)
History: 2005 a. 193
; Stats. 2005 s. 347.385.
No person shall operate on a highway any motor vehicle subject to registration unless such motor vehicle is equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise or annoying smoke. This subsection also applies to motor bicycles.
No muffler or exhaust system on any vehicle mentioned in sub. (1)
shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device nor shall there be installed in the exhaust system of any such vehicle any device to ignite exhaust gases so as to produce flame within or without the exhaust system. No person shall modify the exhaust system of any such motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle, and such original muffler shall comply with all the requirements of this section.
In this section, “muffler" means a device consisting of a series of chambers of baffle plates or other mechanical design for receiving exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine and which is effective in reducing noise.