Move Over Tennessee

What does this mean for you?

On a four-lane road:

If safety and traffic conditions allow, a driver approaching a utility vehicle with flashing lights should move into the far lane.

On a two-lane road:

If changing lanes is not possible, a driver should reduce speed when approaching a utility vehicle with flashing lights.

New TCA 55-8-132

effective July 1, 2011

The TCA text below includes the recently passed changes in law.

T.C.A. 55-8-132. Operation of vehicles and streetcars on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.

A. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals meeting the requirements of the applicable laws of this state, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only:

  1. The driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer; and
  2. Upon the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, as above stated, the operator of every streetcar shall immediately stop such car clear of any intersection and keep it in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

B. Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when such vehicle is giving a signal by use of flashing lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:

  1. Proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
  2. Proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

C. Upon approaching a stationary recovery vehicle, highway maintenance vehicle, or utility service vehicle when the vehicle is giving a signal by use of authorized flashing lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:

  1. Proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary recovery vehicle, highway maintenance vehicle, or utility service vehicle if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
  2. Proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.

D. For the purpose of this section unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Highway maintenance vehicle” means a vehicle used for the maintenance of highways and roadways in this state and is:
    a. Owned or operated by the department of transportation, a county, a municipality or other political subdivision of this state; or,
    b. Owned or operated by a contractor under contract with the department of transportation, a county, a municipality or other political subdivision of this state
  2. “Recovery vehicle” means a truck that is specifically designed for towing a disabled vehicle or a combination of vehicles.
  3. ‘Utility’ means any person, municipality, county, metropolitan government, electric cooperative, telephone cooperative, board, commission, district or any entity created or authorized by public act, private act, or general law to provide electricity, natural gas, water, waste water services, telephone services, or any combination thereof, for sale to consumers in any particular service area.

E. A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 to $500, or imprisonment not greater than 30 days, or both.

F. This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, a recovery vehicle or a highway maintenance vehicle from the duty to operate such vehicle with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.

[Acts 1955, ch. 329, § 31; T.C.A., § 59-832; Acts 2003, ch. 384, § 1.]

Source:

Tennessee Code/TITLE 55 MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES /CHAPTER 8 OPERATION OF VEHICLES – RULES OF THE ROAD /55-8-132.

Operation of vehicles and streetcars on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.
Above also includes changes from Public Chapter 40, HB 1654; effective July 1, 2011