NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - School bus drivers must be at least 25 years old in Tennessee under one of 16 laws taking effect on New Year's Day.
Lawmakers made the change in reaction to a November 2016 school bus crash that killed six elementary school children in Chattanooga.
The driver, Johnthony Walker, was 24 at the time. The law also requires a school bus driver safety program, five consecutive years of driving experience for drivers and appointment of school district and charter school transportation supervisors.
Other new laws taking effect Monday require Tennessee public colleges and universities to spell out free speech policies; create a maximum $50 fine for talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving in an active school zone; and let trained soldiers bypass firing range requirements for a state handgun permit.
1. Codes SB0128 - The electrical safety code governing electric supply
stations and lines; updates publisher's address. - Amends
TCA Title 68, Chapter 101.
2. Barbers SB0032 - Barbers can perform services at a customer's home. Previously, only sick customers could get at-home services under Tennessee law.
3. Handgun Permits HB0689 - Members of the United States Armed Forces also won't have to go though firing range training to get a handgun carry permit as long as they passed combat training.
4. School Transportation HB0322 - New school bus drivers must complete a training program prior to transporting students. They must also be at least 25 years old to receive an initial school bus driver license endorsement.
5. Headlights SB0194 - Headlight colors other than white or amber will be illegal.
6. Prescription drugs SB0429 - The Board of Pharmacy can create a voluntary prescription drug donation repository. Drugs must be in its original packaging and must be inspected before they are dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.
7. Marijuana Regulation HB1291 - The Alcoholic Beverage Commission will no longer monitor or enforce criminal marijuana offenses. It will continue to regulate the service of alcohol in restaurants.
Continue reading the other 9 laws here.