Sheriff warns about ATV safety with more on the roads

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - More people might be out on county roads on all-terrain vehicles thanks to warm weather and a new state law.

The Arkansas Legislature passed a bill during their most recent session allowing people to drive ATVs, like four-wheelers or side by sides, on public streets and highways outside of city limits.

Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens said Wednesday that they usually see quite a few people driving ATVs in the county anyways and this could increase those numbers.

The sheriff said usually they don't have many problems from riders if they are being cautious.

"A lot of people when they're out joy riding or on the weekends when they're out on the backroads, they'll ride two or three wide and that's actually more dangerous because of the curves and stuff," Stephens said.

He does ask, though, that people obey all laws regardless of what they're driving or where they are driving it at.

"The same rules do apply," Stephens said. "You can still get a driving while intoxicated just as well as you're in a vehicle because it is a motorized vehicle. If it's a side by side, which is commonly what everybody is going onto now, wear your seatbelt just like you are in a car. You still have to follow all of the traffic laws."

Stephens also asks that motorists be aware that more of these all-terrain vehicles are on the roads now and look out for them.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.