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Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999

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C —Wheels, Springs, Tyres and Tracks

General requirement as to wheels and tracks

26.  Every motor cycle and invalid carriage shall be a wheeled vehicle, and every other motor vehicle and every trailer shall be either a wheeled vehicle or a track-laying vehicle.

Springs and resilient material

27.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), motor vehicles and trailers shall be equipped with suitable and sufficient springs between each wheel and the frame of the vehicle.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), in the case of a track-laying vehicle—

(a)resilient material shall be interposed between the rims of the weight-carrying rollers and the road surface so that the weight of the vehicle, other than that borne by any wheel, is supported by the resilient material; and

(b)where the vehicle is a heavy motor car, motor car, or trailer it shall have suitable springs between the frame of the vehicle and the weight-carrying rollers.

(3) This regulation does not apply to—

(a)a wheeled vehicle with an unladen weight not exceeding 4,070 kg and which is—

(i)a motor tractor any unsprung wheel of which is fitted with a pneumatic tyre;

(ii)a motor tractor used in connection with railway shunting and which is used on a road only when passing from one railway track to another in connection with such use;

(iii)a vehicle specially designed, and mainly used, for work on rough ground or unmade roads and every wheel of which is fitted with a pneumatic tyre and which is not driven at more than 20 mph;

(iv)a vehicle constructed or adapted for, and being used for, road sweeping and every wheel of which is fitted with either a pneumatic tyre or a resilient tyre and which is not driven at more than 20 mph;

(b)an agricultural motor vehicle which is not driven at more than 20 mph;

(c)an agricultural trailer, or an agricultural trailed appliance;

(d)a trailer used solely for the haulage of felled trees;

(e)a motor cycle;

(f)a mobile crane;

(g)a pedestrian-controlled vehicle all the wheels of which are equipped with pneumatic tyres;

(h)a road roller;

(i)a broken down vehicle; or

(j)a vehicle first used on or before 1st January 1932.

(4) Paragraphs (1) and (2)(b) do not apply to a works truck or a works trailer.

Wheel loads

28.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) this regulation applies to—

(a)a semi-trailer with more than 2 wheels;

(b)a track-laying vehicle with more than 2 wheels; and

(c)any other vehicle with more than 4 wheels.

(2) This regulation does not apply to a road roller.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5), a vehicle to which this regulation applies shall be fitted with a compensating arrangement which ensures that under the most adverse conditions every wheel remains in contact with the road and is not subject to abnormal variations of load.

(4) Paragraph (3) does not apply in respect of a steerable wheel on which the load does not exceed—

(a)if it is a wheeled vehicle, 3,560 kg; and

(b)if it is a track-laying vehicle, 2,540 kg.

(5) In the application of paragraph (3) to an agricultural motor vehicle, wheels which are in line transversely on one side of the longitudinal axis of the vehicle shall be regarded as one wheel.

Tyres

29.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), wheels of vehicles of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table shall be fitted with tyres of a type specified in that item in column 3 which complies with any conditions specified in that item in column 4.

(2) The requirements referred to in paragraph (1) do not apply to road rollers and are subject, in the case of any item in the Table, to the exemptions specified in that item in column 5.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) a wheel of a vehicle may not be fitted with a temporary use spare tyre unless either—

(a)the vehicle is a passenger vehicle (not being a bus) first used before 1st August 1990; or

(b)the vehicle complies at the time of its first use with ECE Regulation 64 or Community Directive 92/23.

(4) Paragraph (3) does not apply to a vehicle constructed or assembled by a person not ordinarily engaged in the trade or business of manufacturing vehicles of that description.

TABLE

(regulation 29(1))

(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)
ItemClass of vehicleType of tyreConditionsExemptions
1.Locomotives not falling in item 6Pneumatic or resilient
2.Motor tractors not falling in item 6 of a vehicle with an unladen weight of less than 2,540 kg unless the diameter of the rim of the wheel is at least 405 mm.Pneumatic or resilientNo re-cut pneumatic tyre shall be fitted to any wheel
3.Heavy motor cars not falling in item 6Pneumatic

The following, if every wheel not fitted with a pneumatic tyre is fitted with a resilient tyre—

(a)

a vehicle mainly used for work on rough ground;

(b)

a tower wagon;

(c)

a vehicle fitted with a turn-table fire escape;

(d)

a refuse vehicle;

(e)

a works truck;

(f)

a vehicle first used before 3rd January 1933.

4.Motor cars not falling in item 6.Pneumatic

No re-cut tyre shall be fitted to any wheel of a vehicle unless it is—

(a)

an electrically propelled goods vehicle, or

(b)

a goods vehicle with an unladen weight of at least 2,540 kg and the diameter of the rim of the wheel is at least 405 mm

The following, if every wheel not fitted with a pneumatic tyre is fitted with a resilient tyre—

(a)

a vehicle mainly used for work on rough ground;

(b)

a refuse vehicle;

(c)

a works truck;

(d)

a vehicle with an unladen weight not exceeding—

(i)

1,270 kg if electrically propelled;

(ii)

1,020 kg in any other case;

(e)

a tower wagon;

(f)

a vehicle fitted with a turn-table fire escape;

(g)

a vehicle first used before 3rd January 1933.

5.Motor cyclesPneumaticNo re-cut tyre shall be fitted

The following, if every wheel not fitted with a pneumatic tyre is fitted with a resilient tyre—

(a)

a works truck;

(b)

a pedestrian-controlled vehicle.

6.Agricultural motor vehicles which are not driven at more than 20 mphPneumatic or resilientThe same as for item 2

The requirement in column 3 does not apply to a vehicle of which—

(a)

every steering wheel is fitted with a smooth-soled tyre which is not less than 60 mm wide where it touches the road; and

(b)

in the case of a wheeled vehicle, every driving wheel is fitted with a smooth-soled tyre which—

(i)

is not less than 150 mm wide if the unladen weight of the vehicle exceeds 3,050 kg, or 76 mm wide in any other case, and either

(ii)

is shod with diagonal cross-bars not less than 76 mm wide or more than 20 mm thick extending the full breadth of the tyre and so arranged that the space between adjacent bars is not more than 76 mm; or

(iii)

is shod with diagonal cross-bars of resilient material not less than 60 mm wide extending the full breadth of the tyre and so arranged that the space between adjacent bars is not more than 76 mm.

7.TrailersPneumatic

Except in the case of a trailer mentioned in paragraph (d) of column 5, no re-cut tyre shall be fitted to any wheel of a trailer drawn by a heavy motor car or a motor car if the trailer—

(a)

has an unladen weight not exceeding—

(i)

if it is a living van, 2,040 kg; or

(ii)

in any other case, 1,020 kg; or

(b)

is not constructed or adapted to carry any load, other than plant or other special appliance which is a permanent or essentially permanent fixture and has a gross weight not exceeding 2,290 kg

(a)an agricultural trailer manufactured before 1st December 1985;

(b)an agricultural trailed appliance;

(c)a trailer used to carry water for a road roller being used in connection with road works;

(d)the following, if every wheel which is not fitted with a pneumatic tyre is fitted with a resilient tyre—

(i)a works trailer;

(ii)a refuse vehicle;

(iii)a trailer drawn by a heavy motor car every wheel of which is not required to be fitted with a pneumatic tyre;

(iv)a broken down vehicle; or

(v)a trailer drawn by a vehicle which is not a heavy motor car or a motor car.

Tyre loads and speed ratings

30.—(1) Save as provided in paragraphs (3), (4), (8) and (9) any tyre fitted to the axle of a vehicle—

(a)which is a class of vehicle specified in an item in column 2 of Table I; and

(b)in relation to which the date of first use is as specified in that item in column 3 of that Table;

shall comply with the requirements specified in that item in column 4 of that Table.

TABLE I

(regulation 30(1))

(1)(2)(3)(4)
ItemClass of vehicleDate of first useRequirements
1.

Vehicles which are of one or more of the following descriptions, namely—

(a)

goods vehicles,

(b)

trailers,

(c)

buses,

(d)

vehicles of a class mentioned in column 2 in Table III.

Before 1st April 1991The requirements of paragraphs (5) and (6).
2.

Vehicles which are of one or more of the following descriptions, namely—

(a)

goods vehicles,

(b)

trailers,

(c)

buses,

(d)

vehicles of a class mentioned in column 2 in Table III,

with the exception of the vehicles specified in paragraph (2).

On or after 1st April 1991The requirements of paragraphs (5), (6) and (7).
3.Vehicles of a class mentioned in paragraph (2).On or after 1st April 1991The requirements of paragraph (5).

(2) The classes of vehicle referred to in items 2 and 3 in column 2 of Table I are—

(a)engineering plant;

(b)track-laying vehicles;

(c)vehicles equipped with tyres of speed category Q;

(d)works trucks; and

(e)motor vehicles with a maximum speed not exceeding 30 mph, not being vehicles of a class specified in—

(i)items 2 and 3 of, Table II; or

(ii)paragraph (8) or sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) of this paragraph;

or trailers while being drawn by such vehicles.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any tyre fitted to the axle of a vehicle if the vehicle is—

(a)broken down or proceeding to a place where it is to be broken up; and

(b)being drawn by a motor vehicle at a speed not exceeding 20 mph.

(4) Where in relation to any vehicle first used on or after 1st April 1991 a tyre supplied by a manufacturer for the purposes of tests or trials of that type is fitted to an axle of that vehicle, paragraph (7) shall not apply to that tyre while it is being used for those purposes.

(5) The requirements of this paragraph are that the tyre, as respects strength, shall be designed and manufactured adequately to support the maximum permitted axle weight for the axle.

(6) The requirements of this paragraph are that the tyre shall be designed and manufactured adequately to support the maximum permitted axle weight for the axle when the vehicle is driven at the speed shown in column 3 in Table II in the item in which the vehicle is described in column 2 (the lowest relevant speed being applicable to a vehicle which is described in more than one item).

TABLE II

(regulation 30(6))

(1)(2)(3)(4) Variation to the load-capacity index expressed as a percentage
ItemClass of vehicleSpeed (mph)(a) Tyres marked in accordance with ECE Regulation 30, 30.01 or 30.02 and relevant car tyres(b) Tyres marked in accordance with ECE Regulation 54 and relevant commercial vehicle tyres
1.A vehicle of a class for which maximum speeds are prescribed by the Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1989(1) other than an agricultural motor vehicle.The highest speed so prescribed

Single wheels: none.

Dual wheels: 95.5%

None.
2.An electrically propelled vehicle used as a multi-stop local collection and delivery vehicle and having a maximum speed of not more than 25 mph.The maximum speed of the vehicleNone150%.
3.An electrically propelled vehicle used as a multi-stop local collection and delivery vehicle and having a maximum speed of more than 25 mph and not more than 40 mph.The maximum speed of the vehicleNone130%
4.An electrically propelled vehicle used only within a radius of 25 miles from the permanent base at which it is normally kept and having a maximum speed of more than 40 mph and not more than 50 mph.The maximum speed of the vehicleNone115%
5.A restricted speed vehicle.50NoneThe relevant % variation specified in Annex 8 to ECE Regulation 54 or Appendix 8 to Annex II to Community Directive 92/23
6.A low platform trailer, an agricultural motor vehicle, an agricultural trailer, an agricultural trailed appliance or an agricultural trailed appliance conveyor.40NoneThe relevant % variation specified in Annex 8 to ECE Regulation 54 or Appendix 8 to Annex II to Community Directive 92/23
7.A municipal vehicle.40None115%
8.A multi-stop local collection and delivery vehicle if not falling within the class of vehicle described in items 2 or 3 above.40None115%
9.A light trailer or any trailer equipped with tyres of speed category F or G.60

Single wheels: 110%

Dual wheels: 105%

The relevant variation specified in Annex 8 to ECE Regulation 54 or Appendix 8 to Annex II to Community Directive 92/23
10.A trailer not falling in items 6 to 10.60

Single wheels: none.

Dual wheels: 95.5%

None
11.A motor vehicle not falling in items 1 to 11.70

Single wheels: none

Dual wheels: 95.5%

None

(7) The requirement of this paragraph is that the tyre when first fitted to the vehicle was marked with a designated approval mark or complied with the requirements of ECE Regulation 30, 30.01, 30.02 or 54, but this requirement shall not apply to a retreaded tyre.

(8) The requirements of paragraphs (6) and (7) shall not apply to a tyre fitted to the axle of a vehicle of a class specified in an item in column 2 of Table III while it is being driven or drawn at a speed not exceeding that specified in that item in column 3 of that Table.

TABLE III

(regulation 30(8))

(1)(2)(3)
ItemClass of vehicleSpeed (mph)
1.Agricultural motor vehicles20
2.Agricultural trailers20
3.Agricultural trailed appliances20
4.Agricultural trailed appliance conveyors20
5.Works trailers18

(9) Paragraph (10) applies where a tyre fitted to the axle of a vehicle—

(a)bears a speed category symbol and load-capacity index, being marks that were moulded on to or into the tyre at the time that it was manufactured;

(b)is designed and manufactured so as to be capable of operating safely at the speed and load indicated by those marks; and

(c)is designed so as to be capable of being fitted to the axle of a vehicle of a class specified in item 1, 2, 3 or 4 in column 2 of Table III in paragraph (8).

(10) In the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 9, paragraph (7) shall not apply to the tyre if—

(a)the vehicle is being driven or drawn at a speed that does not exceed the speed indicated by the speed category symbol or 50 mph (whichever is the less), and

(b)the load on the tyre does not exceed the load indicated by the load capacity index.

(11) A vehicle of a class described in column 2 in Table II first used on or after 1st April 1991 shall not be used on a road—

(a)in the case where there is no entry in column 4 specifying a variation to the load-capacity index expressed as a percentage, if the load applied to any tyre fitted to the axle of the vehicle exceeds that indicated by the load-capacity index; or

(b)in the case where there is such an entry in column 4, if the load applied to any tyre fitted to the axle of the vehicle exceeds the variation to the load-capacity index expressed as a percentage.

(12) In this regulation—

“designated approval mark” means the marking designated as an approval mark by regulation 5 of the Approval Marks Regulations and shown at item 33 in Schedule 4 to those Regulations (that item being a marking relating to Community Directive 92/23);

“dual wheels” means two or more wheels which are to be regarded as one wheel by virtue of paragraph 7 of regulation 2 in the circumstances specified in that paragraph;

“load-capacity index” has the same meaning as in paragraph 2.28 of Annex II to Community Directive 92/23 or paragraph 2.29 of ECE Regulation 30.02 or paragraph 2.27 of ECE Regulation 54;

“municipal vehicle” means a motor vehicle or trailer limited at all times to use by a district council, or a person acting in pursuance of a contract with a district council, for road cleansing, road watering or the collection and disposal of refuse, night soil or the contents of cesspools;

“multi-stop local collection and delivery vehicle” means a motor vehicle or trailer used for multi-stop collection and delivery services to be used only within a radius of 25 miles from the permanent base at which it is normally kept;

“single wheels” means wheels which are not dual wheels; and

“speed category” has the same meaning as in paragraph 2.29 of Annex II to Community Directive 92/23 or paragraph 2.28 of ECE Regulation 54.

(13) For the purposes of this regulation, a tyre is a “relevant car tyre” if—

(a)it has been marked with a designated approval mark, and

(b)the first 2 digits of the approval number comprised in the mark are “02”.

(14) For the purposes of this regulation, a tyre is a “relevant commercial vehicle tyre” if—

(a)it has been marked with a designated approval mark, and

(b)the first 2 digits of the approval number comprised in the mark are “00”.

(15) In this regulation any reference to the first use shall, in relation to a trailer, be construed as a reference to the date which is 6 months after the date of manufacture of the trailer.

Mixing of tyres

31.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5) pneumatic tyres of different types of structure shall not be fitted to the same axle of a wheeled vehicle.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (5), a wheeled motor vehicle having only two axles each of which is equipped with one or two single wheels shall not be fitted with—

(a)a diagonal-ply tyre or a bias-belted tyre on its rear axle if a radial-ply tyre is fitted on its front axle; or

(b)a diagonal-ply tyre on its rear axle if a bias-belted tyre is fitted on the front axle.

(3) Paragraph (2) does not apply to a vehicle to an axle of which there are fitted wide tyres not specially constructed for use on engineering plant or to a vehicle which has a maximum speed not exceeding 30 mph.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5) pneumatic tyres fitted to—

(a)the steerable axles of a wheeled vehicle; or

(b)the driven axles of a wheeled vehicle, not being steerable axles,

shall all be of the same type of structure.

(5) A temporary use spare tyre may be fitted to a wheel of a passenger vehicle (not being a bus) unless it is driven at a speed exceeding 50 mph.

(6) In this regulation—

“axle” includes—

(i)

two or more stub axles which are fitted on opposite sides of the longitudinal axis of the vehicles so as to form—

(a)

a pair in the case of two stub axles; and

(b)

pairs in the case of more than two stub axles; and

(ii)

a single stub axle which is not one of a pair;

“a bias-belted tyre” means a pneumatic tyre, the structure of which is such that the ply cords extend to the bead so as to be laid at alternate angles of substantially less than 90 degrees to the peripheral line of the tread, and are constrained by a circumferential belt comprising two or more layers of substantially inextensible cord material laid at alternate angles smaller than those of the ply cord structure;

“a diagonal-ply tyre” means a pneumatic tyre, the structure of which is such that the ply cords extend to the bead so as to be laid at alternate angles of substantially less than 90 degrees to the peripheral line of the tread, but not being a bias-belted tyre;

“a driven axle” means an axle through which power is transmitted from the engine of a vehicle to the wheels on that axle;

“a radial-ply tyre” means a pneumatic tyre, the structure of which is such that the ply cords extend to the bead so as to be laid at an angle of substantially 90 degrees to the peripheral line of the tread, the ply cord structure being stabilised by a substantially inextensible circumferential belt;

“stub axle” means an axle on which only one wheel is mounted; and

“type of structure”, in relation to a tyre, means a type of structure of a tyre of a kind defined in this paragraph.

Condition and maintenance of tyres

32.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) to (4), a wheeled motor vehicle or trailer a wheel of which is fitted with a pneumatic tyre shall not be used on a road, if—

(a)the tyre is unsuitable having regard to the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is being put or to the types of tyres fitted to its other wheels;

(b)the tyre is not so inflated as to make it fit for the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is being put;

(c)the tyre has a cut in excess of 25 mm or 10% of the section width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, measured in any direction on the outside of the tyre and deep enough to reach the ply or cord;

(d)the tyre has any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of its structure;

(e)the tyre has any of the ply or cord exposed;

(f)the base of any groove which showed in the original tread pattern of the tyre is not clearly visible;

(g)either—

(i)the grooves of the tread pattern of the tyre do not have a depth of at least 1 mm throughout a continuous band measuring at least three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre; or

(ii)if the grooves of the original tread pattern of the tyre did not extend beyond three-quarters of the breadth of the tread, any groove which showed in the original tread pattern does not have a depth of at least 1mm; or

(h)the tyre is not maintained in such condition as to be fit for the use to which the vehicle or trailer is being put or has a defect which might in any way cause damage to the surface of the road or damage to persons on or in the vehicle or to other persons using the road.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not operate to prohibit the use on a road of a motor vehicle or trailer by reason only of the fact that a wheel of the vehicle or trailer is fitted with a tyre which is deflated or not fully inflated and which has any of the defects described in sub-paragraph (c), (d) or (e) of said paragraph (1), if the tyre and the wheel to which it is fitted are so constructed as to make the tyre in that condition fit for the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is being put and the outer sides of the wall of the tyre are so marked as to enable the tyre to be identified as having been constructed to comply with the requirements of this paragraph.

(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not operate to prohibit the use on a road of a passenger vehicle (not being a bus) by reason only of the fact that a wheel of the vehicle is fitted with a temporary use spare tyre, unless the vehicle is driven at a speed exceeding 50 mph.

(4) (a) Paragraph (1)(a) to (g) does not apply to—

(i)an agricultural motor vehicle that is not driven at more than 20 mph;

(ii)an agricultural trailer;

(iii)an agricultural trailed appliance;

(iv)a broken down vehicle or a vehicle proceeding to a place where it is to be broken up, being drawn, in either case, by a motor vehicle at a speed not exceeding 20 mph;

(b)paragraph (1)(f) and (g) does not apply to—

(i)a three wheeled motor cycle the unladen weight of which does not exceed 102 kg and which has a maximum speed of 12 mph; or

(ii)a pedestrian-controlled works truck;

(c)paragraph (1)(g) does not apply to a motor cycle with an engine capacity which does not exceed 50 cc;

(d)paragraph (1)(f) and (g) does not apply to the vehicles specified in sub-paragraph (e) but such vehicles shall comply with the requirements specified in sub-paragraph (f);

(e)the vehicles mentioned in sub-paragraph (d) are—

(i)passenger vehicles other than motor cycles constructed or adapted to carry no more than 8 seated passengers in addition to the driver;

(ii)goods vehicles with a maximum gross weight which does not exceed 3,500 kg; and

(iii)light trailers not falling within sub-paragraph (ii);

first used on or after 3rd January 1933;

(f)the requirements referred to in sub-paragraph (d) are that the grooves of the tread pattern of every tyre fitted to the wheels of a vehicle mentioned in sub-paragraph (e) shall be of a depth of at least 1.6 mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of the breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

(5) A re-cut pneumatic tyre shall not be fitted to any wheel of a motor vehicle or trailer if—

(a)its ply or cord has been cut or exposed by the re-cutting process; or

(b)it has been wholly or partially re-cut in a pattern other than the manufacturer’s re-cut tread pattern.

(6) (a) In this regulation—

“breadth of tread” means the breadth of that part of the tyre which can contact the road under normal conditions of use measured at 90 degrees to the peripheral line of the tread;

“original tread pattern” means in the case of—

a re-treaded tyre, the tread pattern of the tyre immediately after the tyre was re-treaded;

wholly re-cut tyre, the manufacturer’s re-cut tread pattern;

a partially re-cut tyre, on that part of the tyre which has been re-cut, the manufacturer’s re-cut tread pattern, and on the other part, the tread pattern of the tyre when new, and

any other tyre, the tread pattern of the tyre when the tyre was new;

“temporary use spare tyre” means a pneumatic tyre which is designed for use on a motor vehicle only—

(A)

in the event of the failure of one of the tyres normally fitted to the wheel of the vehicle, and

(B)

at a speed lower than that for which such normally fitted tyres are designed;

“tie-bar” means any part of a tyre moulded in the tread pattern of the tyre for the purpose of bracing two or more features of such tread pattern;

“tread pattern” means the combination of plain surfaces and grooves extending across the breadth of the tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre but excludes any—

(i)

tie bars or tread wear indicators;

(ii)

features which are designed to wear out substantially before the rest of the pattern under normal conditions of use; and

(iii)

other minor features; and

“tread wear indicator” means any bar, not being a tie-bar, projecting from the base of a groove of the tread pattern of a tyre and moulded between two or more features of the tread pattern of a tyre for the purpose of indicating the extent of the wear of such tread pattern.

(b)

The reference in this regulation to grooves are references—

(i)

if a tyre has been re-cut, to the grooves of the manufacturer’s re-cut tread pattern; and

(ii)

if a tyre has not been re-cut, to the grooves which showed when the tyre was new.

(c)

A reference in this regulation to first use shall, in relation to a trailer, be construed as a reference to the date which is 6 months after the date of manufacture of the trailer.

Tracks

33.—(1) Every part of every track of a track-laying vehicle which comes into contact with the road shall be flat and have a width of not less than 12.5 mm.

(2) The area of the track which is in contact with the road shall not at any time be less than 225 cm2 in respect of every 1,000 kg of the total weight which is transferred to the road by the tracks.

(3) The tracks of a vehicle shall not have any defect which might damage the road or cause danger to any person on or in the vehicle or using the road, and shall be properly adjusted and maintained in good and efficient working order.

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