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THP advises Commercial Vehicle Operators of amended law


Modified Law took effect July 1st

THP LogoNashville, TN — The Tennessee Highway Patrol will add to its list of safety measures to enforce when an amended state law on lighting regulations for commercial motor vehicles took effect on July 1st, 2010. The amendment, adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly, comes as a result of numerous close calls and serious injuries. 

In summary, the law, TCA 55-9-405, was amended to say that any commercial vehicles transporting intrastate loads of logs, poles, etc., projected four feet or more beyond the rear, between one half hour before sunset and one half hour after sunrise, should have one amber strobe-type lamp or one amber light emitting diode (LED) visible from the rear and both sides of the load. Additionally, both lamps should be detectable from a distance of at least 500 feet from the rear of the load.

“This legislation change is proactive and it allows commercial vehicles, particularly the lumbering industry, to continue to work effectively and efficiently at a greater level of safety,” said THP Colonel Mike Walker. “Our commitment to leading these vehicles and its’ operators into compliance is great. Any new or amended state laws that help ensure the safety of the motoring public, we are prepared to enforce.”

No changes are required of commercial vehicles that transport intrastate loads that extend less than four feet at night or for loads that extend more than four feet but are transported during the allotted time frame (i.e. between the one half hour before sunset and one half hour after sunrise).

Commercial vehicle operators out of compliance are subject to a Class C misdemeanor, resulting in a $50.00 fine and the potential for up to 30 days in jail.  To read the amended law in its entirety, visit

During a 30-day grace period, the THP will issue warnings from July 1st through August 1st; Citations will be distributed thereafter.  A copy of Public Chapter 1010 is attached to this release.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public.  The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.




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