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Placing Flashing Lights in School Zones

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Reviewed Date: December 20, 2016

Original Author: 
Moore, Todd
Date of Material: 
May 23, 1996


Subjects:
Schools
Traffic--Laws and regulations

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.

Knowledgebase-Placing Flashing Lights in School Zones 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

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Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced may have changed and/or the technical advice provided 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 posted to this website.