What driving laws should visitors to Tennessee know?

Tennessee is a great place to live, which is why the state receives so many visitors. Those unfamiliar with driving laws could run into a bit of trouble, especially when it comes to things like texting and driving. Fortunately, the Tennessee Department of Homeland Safety offers the following advice, which also a good refresher for those who reside in the state.

Seatbelt laws

As a primary seatbelt state, drivers must always wear their seatbelts while operating a motor vehicle. Additionally, drivers are responsible for ensuring their passengers are also secure. When it comes to child car seats, all children young than eight years old must be properly restrained, while infants must be placed in rear-facing seats until age one.

Motorcycle helmet laws

Helmets must be worn by both operators of a motorcycle as well as their passengers. Additionally, helmets must be Department of Transportation approved. That means the helmet underwent rigorous safety testing.

DUIs

Drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) higher than .08% are subject to $350 fine and 48 hours in jail for a first offense. Extenuating circumstances can increase penalties. For instance, children in the vehicle or a BAC much higher than the legal limit may incur harsher punishments.

Texting and driving

Like many other states, texting while driving in Tennessee is illegal. This is considered a misdemeanor offense and is subject to a $50 fine if a driver is cited. Offenders are also required to undergo a driver’s ed course, although this is usually relegated to residents of the state. Hands-free devices are permitted, however. 

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