Abingdon, Bristol and Johnson City
It can be hard to keep up with all the changes in laws on the state and municipal levels. However, ignorance of the law is no excuse if you end up breaking the law without being aware it exists. At the Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., we hope that none of you ever end up having to be in court because of a civil or criminal violation. We also believe that education is your best defense against potential legal issues. With that said, your Bristol legal expert Michael R. Munsey wants to make the public aware of three new laws that impact Tennessee drivers.
Three new Tennessee laws went into effect at the first of this year. While we are already halfway through the year, it is never too late to educate yourself on the law.
- It is illegal to use a handheld phone in school zones.
- It is illegal to have headlights of any color that is not white or amber—even if they are steady lights or flashing lights.
- Autonomous Vehicles are permitted on the road without a driver, and a fully functional automated vehicle would be considered a “person” by legislation.
The first two laws were passed as part of a continuing crackdown in Tennessee against incidents of distracted driving. According to statistics released by the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were 24,777 distracted driving accidents in Tennessee in 2017. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that leads to you taking your eyes off the road while driving—such as texting, using a mobile device, GPS, computer, navigation system or another electronic device, or being distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle other than operating the vehicle. Even eating can constitute distracted driving, according to law enforcement officials.
The third law, named the Autonomous Vehicles Act, has been passed as a precursor to self-driving vehicles becoming closer to reality. Tesla vehicles currently possess an Autopilot feature, enabling the vehicle to take over while the driver remains in the car. One of the newest models of Cadillac has a “Super Cruiser” feature that lets drivers take their hands off the wheel in addition to removing their feet from the pedals. This law includes language detailing an “automated driving system” defined as a technology that allows a vehicle to drive in “high or full automation mode” without supervision by a human operator. The law also stipulates a vehicle that is equipped with an automated driving system is authorized to operate on state roads—even without a human driver physically present—under certain conditions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thinks that the advent of self-driving vehicles will save lives, estimating that up to 94 percent of serious accidents are caused by human error.
Personal Injury Attorney in Johnson City
We hope that this helps educate you about the new laws so that you can avoid any legal problems in the future. If you do end up in legal trouble or get involved in an accident, you can trust the Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., to represent you and fight for your rights. For several decades, we have helped countless individuals who were injured in car accidents receive the compensation they deserve to cover the cost of medical bills, as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and the loss of their way of life prior to the wreck. Call us at (276) 451-2056 to schedule a free consultation at our office in Johnson City, TN.
Representing the injured and disabled for more than 30 years, the Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., are proud to serve clients in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee, as well as Bristol, Virginia.