2018 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 8 - Operation of Vehicles -- Rules of the Road
Part 2 - Operation of Vehicles -- Rules of the Road -- Continued
§ 55-8-203. Off-highway vehicles.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 55-8-203 (2018)
  • (a) Any Class I or Class II off-highway vehicle as defined in § 55-8-101 registered pursuant to chapter 4, part 7 of this title, may be operated on county roads, if the requirements in this section are met. As used in this section, "county road" means a road that has been classified as a county road pursuant to § 54-10-103 or a road for which a county has otherwise assumed control, and does not include a state highway or an interstate or national defense highway. Nothing in this section authorizes the operation on county roads of any all-terrain vehicle or off-highway vehicles other than Class I or Class II off-highway vehicles.

  • (b) Any Class I or Class II off-highway vehicle operated on county roads pursuant to subsection (a) may, for the purpose of crossing from one (1) road, field, or area of operation to another, be operated upon a state highway or other noncounty road, except upon the interstate and national defense highway system, if:

    • (1) The crossing is made at an angle of approximately ninety degrees (90 degrees) to the direction of the highway and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing;

    • (2) The vehicle is brought to a complete stop before crossing the shoulder or main traveled way of the highway;

    • (3) The operator yields the operator's right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate potential hazard; and

    • (4) Both the headlights and taillights are illuminated when the crossing is made.

  • (c) A Class I or Class II off-highway vehicle authorized by subsection (a) may be operated if, while on the county roads:

    • (1) The vehicle is equipped with:

      • (A) Brakes;

      • (B) At least two (2) taillights, stoplights, and headlights;

      • (C) Two (2) turn signal lamps or other devices meeting the requirements of § 55-8-144;

      • (D) A horn meeting the requirements of § 55-9-201;

      • (E) A roll bar;

      • (F) Seat belts for each seat;

      • (G) A manufacturer-installed or equivalent spark arrester;

      • (H) A manufacturer-installed or equivalent muffler in proper working order and properly connected to the vehicle's exhaust system; and

      • (I) A windshield, with or without wipers; except, that if the vehicle is not equipped with a windshield, then the operator and each passenger shall wear glasses containing impact resistant lenses, safety goggles, or a transparent face shield; and

    • (2) The operator shall be at least sixteen (16) years of age and possess a valid driver license from this state or an equivalent license from another state, and otherwise comply with this chapter.

  • (d) A Class I and Class II off-highway vehicle and any person operating such vehicle is subject to all of the requirements or laws applicable to motor vehicles, including the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977, compiled in chapter 12, part 1 of this title, relating to financial responsibility; chapter 50 of this title, relating to driver licenses; and chapters 3 and 4 of this title, relating to titling and registration, except as otherwise provided in chapter 4, part 7 of this title, or this section.

  • (e) Every person operating a Class I or Class II off-highway vehicle upon a county road pursuant to this section shall obey all of the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle under part 1 of this chapter, and chapter 10, parts 1-5 of this title, except as to those provisions that by their nature can have no application.

  • (f) A person who violates subsections (a)-(e) commits a Class C misdemeanor.

  • (g) Operation of the following off-highway vehicles shall be exempt from the registration requirements of chapter 4, part 7 of this title, and equipment and safety requirements of this section:

    • (1) An off-highway vehicle operated on any private or public recreational trail or area;

    • (2) An off-highway vehicle operated on an affiliated trail or area operated by a person or entity which has in place a safety program;

    • (3) Off-highway vehicles operated for agricultural purposes;

    • (4) Publicly-owned and operated off-highway vehicles that are used for wildlife management, law enforcement, emergency services, and other such purposes; and

    • (5) Off-highway motor vehicles operated pursuant to § 55-8-185, except those registered as a Class I or Class II off-highway vehicle pursuant to chapter 4, part 7 of this title, and operated on county roads pursuant to this section.

  • (h) Nothing in this section requires any person to obtain a license pursuant to chapter 17 of this title in order to transfer, sell, or lease any Class I or Class II off-highway vehicle.

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