Traffic Laws for Tennessee Visitors

With the summer months upon us and the constant travel interstate in Tennessee, it is worthwhile for all visitors entering the state to be made aware of some of the most important laws of the state. This awareness will ensure all visitors time in the volunteer state, whether short or long, more enjoyable in the safest manner possible.

The 6 Most Important TN Traffic Laws

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there are ten very important laws for visitors of the state to be aware of during their time here. However, rather than going through the full ten, I have taken the liberty to note what I think to be the six most important because I am somewhat certain they are probably also very important and similar in the surrounding neighboring states.

Deal with all of your responsibilities before you get in the car, remember it's not safe to text and drive!

It can wait! Remember, it’s not safe OR legal to text and drive in TN!

  • Texting While Driving Law – T.C.A 55-8-199
    • This is fairly self explanatory and does not take much to wrap your brain around. Texting while operating a motor vehicle is illegal. Texting also includes facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, and anything else that requires the use of your phone and can distract you from the road ahead.
  • Seat Belt Law – T.C.A 55-9-603
    • Drivers are responsible for wearing a seatbelt while driving the vehicle and are responsible for ensuring that all passengers of their vehicle are safely strapped in.
  • Handgun Carry Permit Law – T.C.A 39-17-1351
    • Tennessee allows out of state residents who legally possess a handgun to carry that handgun within Tennessee but that Tennessee’s handgun laws take precedence.
    • Many states in the United States and most in the southeast have reciprocity laws in regards to handgun permits. If you carry a handgun legally then it could be worth your while to check into other states handgun laws prior to traveling interstate.
  • DUI Law and Penalties – T.C.A 55-10-401 & 55-10-403
    • Individuals who are found to have a blood alcohol content of .08% are presumed to be under the influence and will be charged with a DUI if while operating a motor vehicle. First time offenders are subject to a minimum of forty eight hours in jail and a penalty fee of $350.00.
    • The key to remember here is… DON’T DRINK & DRIVE.
  • Motorcycle Helmet Law – T.C.A 55-9-302
    • Every motorcycle operator including any passengers must wear a helmet at all times.
    • Further, all helmets must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and certified by the Department of Transportation.
  • Open Container Law – T.C.A 55-10-416
    • No driver shall consume or possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage of any type while operating a vehicle.
    • This really goes back to the whole DON’T DRINK & DRIVE advice. If you plan to be the driver then it is your safest bet to not have any open alcohol within your reach.

There you have six very important and crucial laws for all visitors of Tennessee as well as residents to keep in mind while traveling through the Volunteer state this summer and in the near future.

As stated before, these aren’t just laws that are only representative of Tennessee but laws that could apply in many other states as well. Therefore, prior to traveling and spending a long amount of time in a state other than your home state, take some time to educate yourself on their most important and enforced laws in order to make your stay more enjoyable.

ABOUT David Weissman
David Weissman

David has devoted his practice to fighting for the rights of the injured and aggrieved, representing individuals in personal injury, social security disability and insurance/contract disputes. He has tried more than 100 cases and often obtains successful results thanks to his legal prowess, work ethic, organization and desire to do the best job possible for his clients.

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