2010 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 8 - Operation of VehiclesRules of the Road
55-8-151 - Overtaking and passing school, youth or church bus Markings Discharging passengers Penalties.

55-8-151. Overtaking and passing school, youth or church bus Markings Discharging passengers Penalties.

(a)  (1)  The driver of a vehicle upon a highway, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus that has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus, and the driver shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated. Subsection (a) shall also apply to a school bus with lights flashing and stop sign extended and marked in accordance with this subsection (a) that is stopped upon property owned, operated, or used by a school or educational institution, if the bus is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children outside a protected loading zone.

     (2)  All motor vehicles used in transporting school children to and from school in this state are required to be distinctly marked “School Bus” on the front and rear thereof in letters of not less than six inches (6²) in height, and so plainly written or printed and so arranged as to be legible to persons approaching the school bus, whether traveling in the same or opposite direction.

     (3)  (A)  The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus that is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled-access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

          (B)  For the purpose of this subsection (a), “separate roadways” means roadways divided by an intervening space that is not suitable to vehicular traffic.

     (4)  Except as otherwise provided by subdivisions (a)(1)-(3), the school bus driver is required to stop the school bus on the right-hand side of the road or highway, and the driver shall cause the bus to remain stationary and the visual stop signs on the bus actuated, until all school children who should be discharged from the bus have been so discharged and until all children whose destination causes them to cross the road or highway at that place have negotiated the crossing.

     (5)  (A)  It is a Class C misdemeanor for any person to fail to comply with any provision of this subsection (a) other than the requirement that a motor vehicle stop upon approaching a school bus.

          (B)  It is a Class A misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any person to fail to comply with the provision of this subsection (a) requiring a motor vehicle to stop upon approaching a school bus.

     (6)  Subdivisions (a)(1)-(5) shall not be applicable to the vehicles of street railway companies, as defined in § 65-16-101 [repealed], while those vehicles are being used for the transportation of school children within a municipality or its environs in the area over which a municipality or a municipal regulatory agency has regulatory jurisdiction under § 65-16-101 [repealed].

(b)  Local education agencies (LEAs) are authorized to display a sticker on the rear of school buses directing drivers to remain at a distance of at least one hundred feet (100¢) while the bus is in motion, except when lawfully overtaking and passing the school bus. The department of safety shall develop uniform standards for the stickers.

(c)  (1)  (A)  The driver of a vehicle on a highway upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any church bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers shall stop the vehicle before reaching the church bus, and the driver shall not proceed until the church bus resumes motion or is signaled by the church bus driver to proceed or the visual signals on the bus are no longer actuated.

          (B)  This subsection (c) shall not apply unless the church bus has the same type of safety equipment indicating the bus has stopped as is required for school buses.

     (2)  All motor vehicles used in transporting passengers to and from churches in this state are required to be distinctly marked “Church Bus” on the front and rear thereof in letters of not less than six inches (6²) in height and so plainly written or printed and so arranged as to be legible to persons approaching the church bus, whether traveling in the same or the opposite direction.

     (3)  (A)  The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a church bus which is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled access highway and the church bus is stopped in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

          (B)  For the purpose of subdivision (c)(3)(A), “separate roadways” means roadways divided by an intervening space that is not suitable to vehicular traffic.

     (4)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection (c), the church bus driver is required to stop the church bus on the right-hand side of the road or highway, and the driver shall cause the bus to remain stationary and the visual stop signs on the bus actuated until all passengers who should be discharged from the bus have been so discharged and until all passengers whose destination causes them to cross the road or highway at that place have negotiated the crossing.

     (5)  Any person failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection (c), requiring motor vehicles to stop upon approaching church buses, or violating any of the provisions of this subsection (c), commits a Class C misdemeanor.

(d)  (1)  (A)  The driver of a vehicle on a highway upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any youth bus that has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers shall stop the vehicle before reaching the youth bus, and the driver shall not proceed until the youth bus resumes motion or is signaled by the youth bus driver to proceed or the visual signals on the bus are no longer actuated.

          (B)  Subdivision (d)(1)(A) shall not apply unless the youth bus has the same type of safety equipment indicating the bus has stopped as is required for school buses.

     (2)  All motor vehicles owned by corporations or organizations used in transporting child passengers to and from child care centers in this state or to and from the activities of religious, charitable, scientific, educational, youth service or athletic institutions or organizations are required to be distinctly marked “Youth Bus” on the front and rear thereof in letters of not less than six inches (6²) in height and so plainly written or printed and so arranged as to be legible to persons approaching such youth bus, whether traveling in the same or the opposite direction.

     (3)  (A)  The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways needs not stop upon meeting or passing a youth bus that is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled access highway and the youth bus is stopped in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

          (B)  For the purpose of subdivision (d)(3)(A), “separate roadways” means roadways divided by an intervening space that is not suitable to vehicular traffic.

     (4)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection (d), the youth bus driver is required to stop the youth bus on the right-hand side of the road or highway, and the driver shall cause the bus to remain stationary and the visual stop signs on the bus actuated until all passengers who should be discharged from the bus have been so discharged and until all passengers whose destination causes them to cross the road or highway at that place have negotiated the crossing.

     (5)  Any person failing to comply with the requirements of this subsection (d), requiring motor vehicles to stop upon approaching youth buses, or violating any of the provisions of this subsection (d), commits a Class C misdemeanor.

     (6)  For purposes of this subsection (d), a “youth bus” means a motor vehicle designed for carrying not less than fifteen (15) passengers and used for the transportation of persons.

[Acts 1937, ch. 70, §§ 1-3; C. Supp. 1950, §§ 2715.6-2715.8 (Williams, §§ 2715.11-2715.13); Acts 1955, ch. 329, § 50; 1957, ch. 27, § 1; 1959, ch. 39, § 1; 1961, ch. 171, § 1; 1973, ch. 22, §§ 1-4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-851; Acts 1987, ch. 360, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1997, ch. 322, § 1; 1998, ch. 753, § 1; 2000, ch. 663, § 1; 2006, ch. 825, § 1.]  

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