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
§ 55-8-204. "Slow Poke Law."

Universal Citation: TN Code § 55-8-204 (2018)
  • (a) On interstate and multilane divided highways that are three (3) or more lanes in each direction, a person shall not operate a vehicle in the passing lane, except when overtaking or passing a vehicle that is in a nonpassing lane.

  • (b) This section shall not apply:

    • (1) When the volume of traffic does not permit the vehicle to safely merge into a nonpassing lane;

    • (2) When inclement weather or an official traffic control device makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane;

    • (3) When obstructions or hazards exist in a nonpassing lane;

    • (4) When avoiding traffic moving onto the highway from an acceleration or merging lane;

    • (5) When highway design makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane to exit or turn left;

    • (6) To authorized emergency vehicles engaged in official duties; or

    • (7) To vehicles engaged in highway maintenance and construction operations.

  • (c) The department of transportation is authorized to use the department's existing permanent electronic overhead informational displays located on the interstate system to provide periodic messages to the motoring public as to this section, including the restriction on the left lane being used as a passing lane only. The department may develop guidelines for the content, length, and frequency of any message to be placed on the displays.

  • (d) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine only of fifty dollars ($50.00).

  • (e) As used in this section:

    • (1) "Nonpassing lane" means any lane that is to the right of the passing lane; and

    • (2) "Passing lane" means:

      • (A) The furthermost left lane; or

      • (B) The lane immediately to the right of the furthermost left lane, during the specified hours of specified days of the week when the furthermost left lane is reserved for the exclusive use of high occupancy vehicles pursuant to § 55-8-188.

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