A VC Section
26456 citation, illegal use of brakes, is almost the anti-speeding ticket. Sudden
braking can cause accidents and traffic slowdowns. So-called "brake
checking" can also lead to road-rage incidents. These are the theories
behind a 26456 citation; whether these citations are legitimate is another
A 26456 is a good example of excessive penalty assessments. The base fine
is only $35, but the
total bail fee is almost seven times that amount ($234). There is also one point against
your license. This type of offense can often occur on the I-5 freeway
on the grapevine near Fort Tejon.
Elements of offense
The statute prohibits a test of brakes when travelling more than 25 mph.
Police are looking for brake-checkers or persons who needlessly slam on
One defense in Kern County is that the vehicle was travelling less than
25 mph, which is very often the case in moderate or heavy traffic. In
court, the officer must often guess at the offender's speed, which
can hardly be considered proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Another defense
is that there was an actual or perceived need: the motorists saw an obstruction
or thought they saw an obstruction, or the motorists were simply reacting
to a sudden slowdown in front of them.
A 26456 is also a good example of a situation when an attorney can get
the fine or points reduced. There is another version of this offense that
carries only a $25 fine and total bail fee, and does not assess any points
against your license.