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80 Years Ago

Archives 07-07-2004



Independence celebrated over holiday weekend
Laws go into effect regarding safety belt use
Placard restrictions tightened for persons with disabilities



Independence celebrated over holiday weekend

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
The skies were lighted up on Saturday and Sunday night as thousands of fireworks were set off in celebration of America's independence. Families across the nation gathered for cookouts and fireworks watching.

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Laws go into effect regarding safety belt use

New laws regarding vehicle passenger safety restraints took effect on Thursday, July 1.

Tennessee's seatbelt law was formerly a "secondary" law, meaning an officer could issue a ticket if someone inside a vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt. The officer would pull over the vehicle for a routine traffic stop, such as for speeding or running a stop sign, and then write out the ticket if a person inside was not wearing the proper safety restraints.

As of July 1, however, the law changes to "primary", giving officers the power to stop motorists specifically for the purpose of enforcing the use of seatbelts.

Child restraint laws also changed as of last Thursday. An abbreviated version is as follows:

Children under 1 year of age or 20 pounds or less must be placed in a car seat, be in rear-facing position, and be in a rear seat if available.

Children 1-3 years of age weighing more than 20 pounds must be placed in a car seat and be in a rear seat if available.

Children 4-8 years of age and under 5 feet tall must ride in a booster seat and be in a rear seat if available.

Children 9-12 years of age or any child more than five feet tall before age 9 must wear a seat belt. Officials advise these children also be in a rear seat if available.

Persons ages 13 and older are also required by law to wear a safety belt.

Penalty for not abiding by the above laws is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $50.

Those who would like more information about the new law may call Kym Hearld of the Upper Cumberland Development District's Buckle Upper Cumberland program, funded by the Governor's Highway Safety Office, at (931) 432-4111.

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Placard restrictions tightened for persons with disabilities

In an effort to curb the abuse and misuse of disabled parking privileges, the General Assembly recently passed legislation that makes significant changes to the law governing the issuance of disabled driver placards.

The following changes to the issuance of disabled parking placards took effect July 1:

•The definition of a "disabled driver" now includes persons whose impairments limit them from walking 200 feet without stopping to rest.

•All persons renewing a disabled driver placard must resubmit medical certification prior to the renewal of the placard.

•Any person who knowingly or falsely misrepresents oneself as disabled in order to obtain a placard commits a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

Disabled persons with placards expiring in July and August are being notified by the Department of Safety of the change requiring medical recertification when renewing a permanent or temporary placard. Revised applications with a designated area for medical certification are being sent to those affected by the change in law.

Permanent placards for the disabled are valid for a period of two years. Temporary placards are issued for the estimated duration of the disabling condition not exceeding six months, as certified by a doctor.

For more information or to download an application for a disabled parking placard/license plate visit www.tennessee.gov/safety.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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