Mudflap and Splash Guard Requirements
Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Here at Front Range Compliance Services, LLC, we pride ourselves on answering any questions that our clients have. If we don’t have the answer right away, we grab a regulation book or make a few phone calls and then reach back to our clients in a timely manner. Over the years we have been asked thousands of questions. However, one of the most frequently asked questions that our clients have is regarding the mudflap and splash guard regulations.
The reason behind the abundance of questions is because there is no federal regulation for mudflaps or splash guards. In fact, each state has different rules and regulations that motor carriers need to follow when operating within those specific state lines.
The most common requirement throughout the states is that the mudflaps or splash guards are to cover the full width of the tire and reach to within eight inches off the ground. So, when operating throughout the United States, following those guidelines would be the safest option. Because we are based out of Colorado, we have included Colorado’s specific requirements below:
Colorado - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42. Vehicles and Traffic
42-4-1407.5. Splash guards - when required - definition.
1. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
“Splash guards” means mud flaps, rubber, plastic or fabric aprons, or other devices directly behind the rear-most wheels, designed to minimize the spray of water and other substances to the rear.
“Splash guards” must, at a minimum, be wide enough to cover the full tread of the tire or tires being protected, hang perpendicular from the vehicle not more than ten inches above the surface of the street or highway when the vehicle is empty, and generally maintain their perpendicular relationship under normal driving conditions.
2. Except as otherwise permitted in this section, no vehicle or motor vehicle shall be driven or moved on any street or highway unless the vehicle or motor vehicle is equipped with splash guards. However, vehicles and motor vehicles with splash guards that violate this section shall be allowed to remain in service for the time necessary to continue to a place where the deficient splash guards will be replaced. Such replacement shall occur at the first reasonable opportunity.
3. This section does not apply to:
Passenger-carrying motor vehicles registered pursuant to section 42-3-306 (2);
Trucks and truck tractors registered pursuant to section 42-3-306 (4) or (5) having an empty weight of ten thousand pounds or less;
Trailers equipped with fenders or utility pole trailers;
Vehicles while involved in chip and seal or paving operations or road widening equipment;
Truck tractors or converter dollies when used in combination with other vehicles;
Vehicles drawn by animals; or
Bicycles, electrical assisted bicycles, or electric scooters.
4. Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class B traffic infraction.
For all other states mudflap and splash guard requirements please see the link below for the breakdown for every state.
Make sure to check out our online DOT Training, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement and Defensive Driving. In the coming months we plan on releasing Pre/Post Trip Inspection, Designated Employer Representative, and Appendix A.
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