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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 question entirely.


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 their brakes.


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.

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