(a) All common carriers under the supervision of the Commission shall furnish free transportation to the members of the Commission, and, upon written authority of the Commission, such carriers shall also furnish free transportation to such persons as the Commission may designate in its employ or in the employ of the Department of Motor Vehicles for the inspection of equipment and supervision of safe operating conditions and of traffic upon the highways of the State.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (a), no common carrier shall, directly or indirectly, issue, give, tender, or honor any free fares except to its bona fide officers, agents, commission agents, employees and retired employees, and members of their immediate families: Provided, that common carriers under this Article may exchange free transportation within the limits of this section and may accept as a passenger a totally blind person accompanied by a guide at the usual and ordinary fare charged to one person under such reasonable regulations as may have been established by the carrier and approved by the Commission.
(c) Any person except those permitted by law accepting free transportation shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the carriage, storage or handling of household goods free or at reduced rates for the United States, State or municipal governments, or for charitable or educational purposes, or the use of passes for journeys wholly within this State which have been or may be issued for interstate journeys under the authority of the United States Interstate Commerce Commission. (1899, c. 164, s. 22; c. 642; 1901, c. 652; c. 679, s. 2; 1905, c. 312; Rev., s. 1105; Ex. Sess. 1908, c. 144, s. 4; 1911, cc. 49, 148; 1913, c. 100; 1915, c. 215; 1917, cc. 56, 160; C.S., ss. 1069, 1070, 3492; 1933, c. 134, s. 8; 1941, c. 97; 1949, c. 1132, s. 27; 1953, c. 1279; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 477; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 523, s. 8.)