2016 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 8 - Operation of Vehicles -- Rules of the Road
Part 1 - Operation of Vehicles -- Rules of the Road
§ 55-8-132. Operation of vehicles and streetcars on approach of emergency vehicle and when approaching certain stationary vehicles.

TN Code § 55-8-132 (2016) What's This?

(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 that 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 stated above, the operator of every streetcar shall immediately stop the streetcar clear of any intersection and keep it in that 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 the 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, solid waste 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, solid waste 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; and

(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) (1) The first violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or imprisonment not longer than thirty (30) days, or both.

(2) A second violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(3) A third or subsequent violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

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

(g) (1) A person violating this section may also be prosecuted and convicted for the offense of:

(A) The Class E felony of criminally negligent homicide under § 39-13-212, if the conduct giving rise to the violation of this section is criminally negligent, as defined in § 39-11-302(d), and results in the death of another;

(B) The Class D felony of reckless homicide under § 39-13-215, if the conduct giving rise to the violation of this section is reckless, as defined in § 39-11-302(c), and results in the killing of another; and

(C) The Class C felony of vehicular homicide under § 39-13-213, if the conduct giving rise to the violation of this section is reckless, as defined in § 39-11-302(c), proximately results in the killing of another and the conduct created a substantial risk of death to another.

(2) Nothing in subdivision (g)(1) shall be construed as precluding a person who violates this section from being prosecuted and convicted under any other applicable offense.

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