State Representatives Kelly Keisling and John Mark Windle presented the idea of creating off-road vehicle routes to the Fentress County Commission Tuesday night.
Keisling said the state is currently performing a safety study for 5.2 miles of state route and 4.5 of county roads in the Laurel Creek area. Once the study is complete, Windle said they intend to return before the commission to seek its approval.
“Many people I’m sure have an interest in providing an opportunity for people who drive those vehicles to operate on the state and or county roads,” Windle said. “The state of Tennessee has a process that starts at the county commission to decide what vehicles are allowed on county and state roads.”
Windle said the county commission would draft a resolution with specific parameters that state representatives can submit for approval to the legislature.
County Executive Jimmy Johnson said if passed, the change could help increase tourism in the area. He said if more people were aware that law enforcement was accommodating to off-road vehicles, more could travel to the area and spend their time and money.
“We’ve had several people around the park area, a lot of people will come up and they’ll have some kind of a big truck or motor home somehow and if they have to go get fuel or want to go grab a bite to eat someplace they have to load everything or unload and move the big vehicles,” Johnson said.”So they’re wanting to hopefully ride these ATVs, get them licensed, get the safety restrictions on them, to be able to move around more on state roads and state highways.”