Knowledgebase-Placing Flashing Lights in School Zones


Information Product

Title:Placing Flashing Lights in School Zones
Summary:MTAS was asked whether the city was responsible for placing flashing lights in the school zones located within the city on state controlled access highways.
Original Author:Moore, Todd
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:05/23/96
Last Reviewed on::12/20/2016
Subject:Schools; Traffic--Laws and regulations
Type:Legal Opinion
Legal Opinion:

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: May 23, 1996

You asked whether the city was responsible for placing flashing lights in the school zones located within the city on state controlled access highways. The answer is no.

Tenn. Code Ann. 55-8-152 provides that most cities (including yours) may establish special speed limits "upon any highway ... or public road within their jurisdiction" except:

at school entrances and exits to and from controlled access highways on the system of state highways, which is adjacent to school grounds that are devoted primarily to normal school day activity. ... The department of transportation has the authority to establish such special speed limits at school entrances and exits to and from controlled access highways on the system of state highways. Tenn. Code Ann. 55-8-152.

Based on this statute the city has no authority to set the special speed limits or place flashing lights at school entrances and exits to and from state controlled access highways. The city or county school system should check with the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding these school zones and lights.

Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any further questions regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Todd Moore
MTAS Legal Consultant

TM

Please remember that these legal opinions were written based on the facts of a given city at a certain time. The laws referenced in any opinion may have changed or may not be applicable to your city or circumstances.

Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.