Sheriff Cautions ATV Riders of Dangers

By Forrest Sanders | 

Area law enforcement has been stressing ATV safety for years. But with this week's four wheeler accident in Arizona, where two young girls fell in to a hidden mine, some riders are wondering if a similar incident could happen here in Kentucky.

For Barren County Sheriff Christ Eaton, ATV safety is a constant concern. But now, he's not only warning riders about the dangers of four wheelers, he's warning them about the land they're riding on.

"If you're getting permission to go ride on somebody's property, I would go ask them the layout of their land--if they know of any sinkholes and if they know of any caves." Eaton advised.

It's a concern that's come about in the wake of the Arizone ATV accident; an event which left a 13 year old girl dead and her 11 year old sister is serious condition.

According to Sheriff Eaton, a similar incident could easily happen here in Kentucky, particularly in the Mammoth Cave area. The sloping hills around that farmland may seem safe for riding, but many patches of ground could lead to a sinkhole.

"As sheriff of our community, I want to explore that problem, and I think getting a safety awareness program is the way to go," Eaton said.

It's an effort Sheriff Eaton hopes to get started to share his advice.

"We can have a community meeting, get people involved, and get a direction to start the program," Eaton explained.

The ATV Safety Institute has eight golden rules to follow when riding a four wheeler.

Some of those rules include:

  • Ride only on designated trails at proper speeds

  • Never ride while under the influence

  • Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV

To read the entire list of rules, click here.

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