ATV accidents preventable, hear how - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

ATV accidents preventable, hear how

Posted: Updated:

In Mercer and McDowell counties, West Virginia State Police said they're seeing many violations with ATVs.

59News spoke with a Trooper and an area businesswoman to find out what laws are being broken.

Trooper File in Princeton said his State Police detachment receive complaints of ATV violations on an hourly basis. He told us the biggest violations are riding along marked roads and without helmets.

While most of us hop in our automobiles to run our day-to-day errands, such as to the grocery store, post office and pharmacy, residents in McDowell and Mercer counties are riding to and from in their ATV's on main roads, according to West Virginia State Police. Trooper File says this is causing not only more traffic accidents but also they're seeing more ATV accidents involving children.

He tells us where ATV's are allowed to ride.

"ATV's are allowed to travel on the shoulder of a road from trailhead to trailhead. They're also allowed to travel on unlined roads so long as they keep the speed limit under 25 mph," File said.

He told us they aren't allowed on main roads for serious safety reasons.

"It's a problem because it's illegal and if they've involved in a crash on a major intersection they're more than likely to be found at fault and losing their lives while doing so," the Trooper told us.

In Bramwell, where vacationers travel from out of state to use the town's Hatfield-McCoy trails, local lawmakers make an effort to ensure there isn't room for confusion as to where you can and cannot ride.

For anyone out of town or unfamiliar with the area, the city has posted explicit directions so no ATV will be found on Main Street.

"They just can't go on the main and brick streets, the locals like to keep it quiet. Most of the ATV riders buy permits to ride the Hatfield-McCoy trails and they're strict with helmets. The kids have to have permits too," said Elizabeth Allemeir of The Corner Shop Diner in Bramwell.

According to State Police if law enforcement catches someone riding an ATV illegally:

They will be stopped, towed and written a citation.

A first offense carries a fine between $50 and 100 or up to 10 hours of community service, or both.