Tennessee Rules of the Road: Can a school bus driver use a cell phone?

10 December 2012 Categories: All Blogs, Car Accident, Personal Injury

While Tennessee has not gone as far as some states in banning the use of cell phones by all drivers, there is a law that restricts school bus drivers from using a cell phone while kids are on the bus. Remember that texting while driving is illegal for all drivers in Tennessee (see our blog).

T.C.A. 55-8-192. Use of mobile telephone by school bus drivers.

(a) No driver shall operate a school bus as defined by § 55-8-101 on any highway while using a hand held mobile telephone while the vehicle is in motion and the vehicle is transporting children; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to mobile telephone or two-way radio communications made to and from a central dispatch, school transportation department or its equivalent.

(b) For the purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “mobile telephone” means a cellular, analog, wireless or digital telephone.

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

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section, which must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that the driver’s use of a mobile telephone was necessitated by a bona fide emergency.

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