As you should know, mud flaps can be very beneficial. Whether you’re driving a truck, SUV, or van, there is always a risk that road debris is going to fly up and smack into your vehicle. That could lead to a nasty dent. This is a problem that you’ll want to avoid at all costs. After all, your automobile is very expensive and you’ll want to protect it to the fullest. The good news is that you can solve this problem by utilizing mud flaps. They’ll deflect road debris and prevent it from hitting the fender wells.
What do the mud flap laws in Texas say? Are mud flaps a requirement? Yes. As of 2016, mud flaps are indeed required for trucks, trailers, semi-trailers, and light trucks. However, they’re only a requirement if the vehicle’s rearmost axle had four or more tires. With that being said, they may or may not be required for your vehicle. If you drive a restricted vehicle without mud flaps, there is a good chance that you’re going to get a ticket.
With that being said, you should familiarize yourself with the laws before hitting the road. Within this in-depth guide, you will learn a great deal more about these laws.
Dallas Mud Flap Laws
Remember that some cities may have different laws. This means that you will need to obey state laws and city laws. This can make things a little more difficult for you. Nevertheless, it will pay off in the long run. After all, you do not want to go through the frustration of having to pay a hefty fine. So, what do the mud flap laws in Dallas say? Well, they are a requirement. If you reside in Dallas and you’re driving a certain vehicle, you will be required to use mud flaps.
You need to refer to code 547.606. This one is associated with the use of safety guards and mud flaps. This law remains true for Dallas. If you are driving a vehicle that has four or more tires on the rearmost axle, you will need flaps. If you drive this type of vehicle without mud flaps, you’re going to get into trouble with law enforcement. You might be able to avoid getting pulled over for several months or years but they’ll get you eventually.
When that happens, you will receive an infraction. Depending on your current situation, you may receive a ticket. Otherwise, you’ll receive an infraction and you’ll be given 15 days to get mud flaps installed. Once you’ve done that, you will be required to get the flaps inspected by an officer of the law. To avoid the hassle, you should have mud flaps in the first place.
Ultimately, mud flaps are required in Texas. If you are driving a certain type of vehicle, you will need to use mud flaps. Simultaneously, you have to make sure that your mud flaps are in excellent condition. Below, you will learn more about the mud flap laws in Texas.
Penal Code 547.606
The baseline mud (safety) flap laws in Texas are listed below.
Safety Flaps On Road Trucks Penal Code § 547.606
Road tractors (truck-tractors) in combination with a towing vehicle, such as a semi-trailer with at least two super single tires – a tire with a wide base – or four tires on the rear axle can be equipped with mud (safety) flaps. The mud flaps must be installed behind the rearmost wheels, with an eight-inch gap between the bottom of the flap and highway. This law does not apply to pole trailers or truck-tractors that are operated alone.
Mud Flap Rejections
As mentioned above, your mud flaps need to be in good condition. If they’re not, they’re going to be rejected and you will be cited. First and foremost, the mud flaps have to be present. Simultaneously, it is pertinent to make sure that they’re securely mounted to the vehicle. If they’re hanging down or loose, you will likely receive an infraction. At the same time, you have to make sure that the flaps are the proper width.
They need to be wide enough to cover the entire tire. If the mud flap is torn or slip, it might be rejected too. It is up to the officer to determine whether or not the mud flap is effective. If it is damaged to the point that it is no longer effective, you’re going to receive an infraction and you’ll be required to remedy the problem. Finally, you should know that the mud flap’s length has to be correct. The bottom edge of the flap should be no more than 12 inches from the surface of the road.
Mud Flaps On Light Trucks
Before attempting to determine the requirements for a light truck, you should learn more about the definition of a light truck. This could be any type of truck such as a panel delivery truck, carryall truck, or a pickup truck. The vehicle should have a carrying capacity of two-thousand pounds or less. If it meets these requirements, your vehicle will be classified as a light truck. In return, you should know that your vehicle will need mud flaps.
However, it will depend on the number of tires on the rearmost axle. If the rearmost axle only has two tires, you may not need mud flaps. If the rearmost axle has four or more tires, you will need mud flaps. This is true even if you are driving a light truck. Once you’ve confirmed that you have a light truck, you will need to count the tires on the rear axle. Do that and you’ll know whether or not you need mud flaps.
Mud Flaps On School Buses
In the state of Texas, school buses are not required to be equipped with mud flaps. However, some school districts may utilize mud flaps on their school buses. In these cases, the mud flaps are installed according to the Penal Code 547.606.
Mud Flaps On Pole Trailers
Pole trailers are utilized to transport logs and poles from one place to another. These trailers vary in length between 29 and 45 inches. However, there are some pole trailers that are designed to transport poles and logs that are longer than the average 45 inches. Pole trailers also vary in weight, depending on the length. They generally weigh around 8,000 pounds but it is not unusual for them to weigh more.
In the state of Texas, pole trailers do not need to be equipped with mud flaps.
Mud Flaps On Motor Homes
In the state of Texas, motor homes or recreational vehicles are not required to be installed with mud flaps. Manufacturers generally do not design their motor homes with mud flaps. Fifth wheel and pop-up campers are also not required to have mud flaps.
Ensuring You Obey The Law
When it comes down to it, you should do everything possible to ensure that your vehicle obeys the law. If you do not, you’re going to regret it in the future. After all, you’ll find yourself getting pulled over and being hit with a big infraction. You do not want this to happen. Now that you’ve learned about the laws, it is time to find out how to ensure that you obey the law. This will be easier than you might imagine. Obviously, you’re going to need to install mud flaps on your vehicle.
You can purchase mud flaps almost anywhere including online, at big box stores, and at automotive stores. Now, you need to make sure that they’re installed correctly. They have to be placed in the right location and they should cover the entire tire. On top of that, they need to be secured correctly. And, you need to make sure that the mud flaps remain in good condition.
If they get ripped or torn, you need to fix them immediately. After all, rips and tears may make the flaps ineffective. It will be up to a police officer to determine whether or not your flaps are effective. This is a situation that you want to avoid. Otherwise, you’re taking a risk. Installing mud flaps on your vehicle is pertinent. Keeping them in good condition is vital too.
Mud Flap Design
Mudflaps, also known as safety flaps and mudguards, are designed to contain flying mud and debris from rotating tires. Street tires have channels and grooves for traction and durability. These patterns also help sweep mud and debris away from the bottom of the vehicle. To add more protection, semi-trailer, tractor-trailers, and light trucks are equipped with mud flaps.
Mudflaps are constructed of flexible materials, such as thick plastic and rubber. The material must be flexible but rigid enough to prevent flying debris from being thrown onto other vehicles and pedestrians. The mud flap is attached to a flat surface behind the tire with fasteners. Most mud flaps come with pre-drilled holes, so they can be installed quickly and easily.
Speak With Law Enforcement
The laws regarding mud flaps can be difficult to understand. This creates a problem for ordinary consumers in Texas. However, there is an easy way to solve this problem. You just need to speak with law enforcement in your area. You should speak to them before installing the flaps. Once you’ve got them installed, you can take them to a police officer and let that officer inspect the flaps. This is the best way to ensure that your flaps are deemed effective and installed correctly.
If you want extra peace of mind, you should consult with an attorney. This will ensure that you’re able to get definite answers. Remember that you should never travel on this path alone. There is assistance out there and you should use that assistance to your advantage. If you have concerns or questions, you should speak to someone about it. This is the best way to protect your best interest and avoid problems in the future.
At the end of the day, having mud flaps is a requirement in Texas. If you are driving a vehicle with four or more wheels on the rear axle, you will need to use mud flaps. If you are caught without flaps, you’re going to get into trouble and you’ll need to jump through hoops to remedy the problem right away. You do not want to get caught multiple times. This will only escalate things and get you into even more trouble. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws so you can obey them strictly. Be sure to obey the mud flap laws in Texas to avoid problems.
What Happens If I Am Caught Without Mud Flaps?
Ultimately, you do not want to be caught without mud flaps. If you get caught without mud flaps, you’re going to get yourself into big trouble. You’ll be required to get mud flaps and prove it to law enforcement. You’ll need to drive the vehicle to a police station to have them inspected. They must meet the requirements of the law before your vehicle will be considered street legal. It is pertinent to know the laws and obey them to the best of your ability. Otherwise, you’re going to end up regretting it in the future.
Will I Get A Ticket For Not Using Mud Flaps?
In most cases, you will not receive a ticket for not having mud flaps. However, you might. Generally, this only happens if you have been caught multiple times without the necessary flaps. This is why it is pertinent to get the problem sorted out immediately. This will allow you to avoid problems and hefty fines. Most of the time, law enforcement will hand out an infraction and require you to fix the problem. You’ll likely be given 15 days to get your vehicle in accordance with the laws. That should be plenty of time to get mud flaps installed.
If you get caught without mud flaps after getting an infraction, you will likely receive a ticket. Fix the problem when you’re given the opportunity to do so to avoid such problems.