Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 55: Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 10: Accidents, Arrests, Crimes and Penalties

Part 2: Crimes

TCA 55-10-205: Reckless driving.


(a) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property commits reckless driving.

(b) A person commits an offense of reckless driving who drives a motorcycle with the front tire raised off the ground in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property on any public street, highway, alley, parking lot, or driveway, or on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, apartment house complex, or any other premises that are generally frequented by the public at large; provided, that the offense of reckless driving for driving a motorcycle with the front tire raised off the ground shall not be applicable to persons riding in a parade, at a speed not to exceed thirty miles per hour (30 mph), if the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(c) (1) Any motor vehicle operator who knowingly ignores a clearly visible and adequate flood warning sign or barricade and drives into a road area that is actually flooded commits reckless driving. In addition to the penalties imposed pursuant to subsection (d), the court may order the operator to pay restitution to defray the taxpayer cost of any rescue efforts related to such violation.

(2) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section, which must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that the operator's driving through the flood warning sign or barricade was necessitated by a bona fide emergency.

(3) This subsection (c) shall not apply to an emergency vehicle. "Emergency vehicle" means a vehicle of a governmental department or public service corporation when responding to any emergency, or any vehicle of a police or fire department, or any ambulance.

(d) (1) A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(2) In addition to the penalty authorized by subdivision (d)(1), the court shall assess a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) to be collected as provided in SC 55-10-412(b) and distributed as provided in SC 55-10-412(c).

History: Acts 1955, ch. 329, SC 57; T.C.A., SC 59-858; Acts 1989, ch. 591, SC 112; 2007, ch. 308, SC 1; 2008, ch. 986, SC 1; 2012, ch. 1048, SC 1; 2013, ch. 154, SCSC 55, 56.