Device on a car or locomotive that allows the brakes to be applied or released manually.
a brake operated by hand; usually operates by mechanical linkage
a safer back up because you can modulate the brake unlike a foot break which is either all on or all off
Nowadays synonymous with the term parking brake but originally a vehicle brake applied by hand action to a wheel or lever on the vehicle.
In cars, the hand brake (also known as the emergency brake, e-brake, park brake, or parking brake) is a supplementary system that can be used if the vehicle's primary brake system (usually hydraulic brakes) has a failure. Automobile e-brakes usually consist of a cable (usually adjustable for length) directly connected to the brake mechanism on one end and to some type of lever that can be actuated by the driver on the other end. The lever is traditionally and more commonly a hand-operated system (hence the hand brake name), the most common configuration being a handle on the floor between the driver and front passenger, and less commonly being a handle bar located on the lower portion of the dashboard somewhere close to the steering wheel column.