Campbell County teens ATV accident puts spotlight on safety

Campbell County teens ATV accident puts spotlight on safety

Posted:
There aren't many laws pertaining to ATVs, and there's no age limit on who can ride one. There aren't many laws pertaining to ATVs, and there's no age limit on who can ride one.
LaFollette Motor Sports sells several things to help keep riders safe including helmets, chest protectors, goggles and gloves. LaFollette Motor Sports sells several things to help keep riders safe including helmets, chest protectors, goggles and gloves.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) - An all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) accident in Campbell County Wednesday night sent a teenager to UT Medical Center, and put a spotlight on the safety of the vehicles.

The accident happened in the Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area, off Flatwoods Road.

Dispatchers say a 16-year-old and 17-year-old were riding an ATV when they went over a 50-foot embankment, hitting a tree.

There aren't many laws pertaining to ATVs, and there's no age limit on who can ride one.

"I started my son out at three years old," said Jerry Thompson, co-owner of LaFollette Motor Sports.

Thompson says it's up to an ATV owner to be responsible for his or her safety.
   
"Safety is the most important factor you have when buying your child an ATV," Thompson said.

LaFollette Motor Sports sells several things to help keep riders safe including helmets, chest protectors, goggles and gloves.

Most ATV manufactures put age limits on their vehicles, but they're only suggestions.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said there are three things it enforces. Those include ensuring anyone 18 or younger wears a helmet, ensuring no one goes over the 25-miles-per-hour speed limit and writing citations for reckless driving.
   
"I think they should enforce the age limit a little better because I've see really young kids on four-wheelers lately," said ATV Jace Shelburen.

TWRA officials also say only one person should be riding an ATV at a time.

There have already been four deadly ATV accidents in Tennessee this year.

Campbell County has one of the highest numbers of ATV fatalities in East Tennessee with five in the past five years.

Knox County has only had one in the same period.

TWRA officials say they're talking about introducing a mandatory ATV safety class.

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