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Braking devices of certain motor vehicles (until 2014)

This Directive aims to establish harmonised technical requirements concerning the braking devices of certain categories of motor vehicles and of their trailers to permit the implementation of the EC type-approval procedure.


Council Directive 71/320/EEC of 26 July 1971 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the braking devices of certain categories of motor vehicles and of their trailers [See amendingacts].


This Directive lays down the procedures relating to EC type-approval for the braking devices of certain vehicles.

This Directive concerns any motor vehicle intended for use on the road, with or without bodywork, having at least four wheels and a maximum design speed exceeding 25 km/h, and its trailers, falling into categories M (M1, M2, M3), N (N1, N2, N3) and O (O1, O2, O3, O4).

Braking device means the combination of parts whose function is progressively to reduce the speed of a moving vehicle or to bring it to a halt, or to keep it stationary if it is already halted.

The braking device defined must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Service braking: allows the driver to control the movement of the vehicle without removing his hands from the steering control,
  • Secondary braking: allows the driver to halt the vehicle while keeping at least one hand on the steering control.
  • Stationary braking: enables the vehicle to be held stationary.

A braking device must have at least two controls which are independent of each other. The control of the service braking device must be independent of the control of the parking braking device.

The Directive also lays down safety requirements, a procedure for testing the efficiency of braking devices and a system of vehicle testing.

No Member State may refuse to grant EC type approval or national type approval of a vehicle on grounds relating to its braking devices if that vehicle is fitted with the devices specified in the Annexes to the Directive and if the devices satisfy the requirements set out therein.

This Directive is repealed by Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 from 1 November 2014.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for implementation in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 71/320/EEC



OJ L 202 of 6.9.1971

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 85/647/EEC



OJ L 380 of 31.12.1985

Directive 98/12/EC



OJ L 81 of 18.3.1998

The successive amendments and corrections to Council Directive 71/320/EEC have been integrated into the original text. This consolidated version is for reference only.

Last updated: 03.11.2011
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