An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) cannot be operated on any public highway, roadway or the right-of-way of any public highway or roadway. (KRS 189.515) An ATV is allowed to cross a 2 lane public highway doing so at as close to a 90 degree angle as practical and safe but not traveling on the highway more than 2/10’s of a mile. An ATV can only be operated on a 2 lane public highway if the operator is engaged in farm or agriculture related activities, construction, road maintenance, or snow removal. These operators must possess a valid operator’s license and comply with all applicable traffic regulations. Approved protective headgear must be worn by the operator at all times that the ATV is used on any public property. This headgear requirement is only exempted when the operator is engaged in farm, mining, logging, or other commercial operations or use of the vehicle on private property. An ATV cannot be operated on private property without the consent of the landowner, tenant, or individual responsible for the property.

A person under the age of sixteen (16) years must not operate an all-terrain vehicle with an engine size exceeding 90 cubic centimeters displacement, and cannot operate an all-terrain vehicle unless under direct parental supervision. A person under the age of twelve (12) years cannot operate an all-terrain vehicle with an engine size exceeding 70 cubic centimeters displacement.


Nationally, last year there were 136,700 ATV injuries. Of that number, 30 percent of the injuries were for children younger than 16 years old. As of June 1, 2007, Kentucky has equaled the number of ATV fatalities that occurred the entire year of 2006.


Knowing all you can about your ATV and where you intend to ride is the best method for safe riding. Too many ATV riders die or experience life altering iuries from ATV crashes. ATV’s are intended for off–road use only. Never operate an ATV on public roads, and always avoid paved surfaces. Riding on paved roads seriously affects handling and control. ‘Gear Up’ before you ‘Rev Up.’ This includes an approved motorcycle helmet, eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt or jacket. ATV’s with an engine size above 70cc shall not be operated by persons under 12 years of age. You must be 16 years old to operate an ATV above 90 cc’s. Don’t let young or inexperienced riders operate ATV’s without training and supervision. You would not let someone drive a car without first having training, treat an ATV with the same respect. Do not operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.