According to a press release issued by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the purpose of the signs are to advise motorists of designated ATV crossings in the city. They are not, confirmed Commissioner of Highways Marc Williams, an endorsement for riding ATVs on state highways, which is illegal under KRS 189.515.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently installed the ATV crossing signs with the purpose of warning motorists to be aware of four-wheelers that are in route to the Black Mountain Recreational Park.
District 11, which includes Harlan County, is the only Department of Transportation district to install ATV informational signs for the public.
“We expect that these signs will help ensure the safety of motorists who may be crossing the roads,” said Williams. “The signs do not endorse the operation of ATVs along our highways, which is not permitted under state law.”
Shaunee Lynch, Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said, “There hasn't been any authorization from our Cabinet for the designation of that road to allow ATVs.
“We abide by KRS 189.515, which specifically restricts the operation of all-terrain vehicles on public highways,” she said.
Evarts City Police Chief Lupe Blas said the signs have helped slow down traffic at the ATV crossings.
“The signs have helped,” Blas said. “I've noticed a slowdown of traffic. We've seen some motorists go pretty fast at these sights, but after the flashing lights were posted, there's been a noticeable improvement.”
The ATV crossing signs are solar-powered and have LED flashing lights encircling them.
“And that's eye-catching,” Blas added. “These signs are certainly getting the motorists' attention.”