Legislation Allowing ATVs on select Campbell County Roads Approved by Senate

Nashville, TN (2017-03-28) Proposed legislation that would allow for the operation of all-terrain vehicles on select roads in Campbell County has gained Senate approval.  Action on the House version of the bill has been deferred until the next meeting of the House Transportation Committee.

Last week, the State Senate approved SB0811 that would allow ATVs to be operated on a number of roads in Campbell County.  The request by Campbell County is similar to one made by Scott County in 2015, which permitted the use of ATVs on State Route 63 from the intersection of U.S. 27 and Winona Road.  However, in that instance, the state only permitted such use on two weekends per year, which are typically reserved for ATV events promoted by local Adventure Tourism businesses.  The pending bill, which still lacks House approval, would allow for such use year around.

Roads included in the proposed bill are: State Route 63 from its intersection with Old Stinking Creek Road West to its intersection with Old Highway 63; State Route 63 from its intersection with Ershell Collins Road West to its intersection with Titus Hollow Road; State Route 116 from its intersection with U.S. Highway 25W (State Route 9) West to its intersection with Better Chance Road; U.S. Highway 25W from TN Exit 160 to Crouches Creek Hollow Road; U.S. Highway 25W (State Route 9) from its intersection with State Route 116 to its intersection with Dogwood Road; U.S. Highway 25W (State Route 9) from its intersection with North Tennessee Avenue to its intersection with Ivy Dale Road; U.S. Highway 25W (State Route 9) from its intersection with McClouds Trail to 4267 U.S. Highway 25W South (which segment is approximately two and one-half (2.5) miles long); U.S. Highway 25W (State Route 9) from its intersection with Elk Tower on Austin Powder Road to the Peabody Convenience Center; U.S. Highway 25W (State Route 9) from its intersection with Highcliff Road to its intersection with the Kentucky state line at State Street; State Route 297 from its intersection with U.S. Highway 25W to its intersection with London Avenue in Campbell County; and State Route 297 from its intersection with Woolridge Pike to its intersection with Whistle Creek Road.

Current Tennessee law allows for the operation of ATVs on other roadways in east Tennessee, including sections of S.R. 61 and S.R. 62 and other roads associated with the Windrock Park near Oliver Springs in Anderson County.  These special permissions are likewise limited to just two weekends per year.  Operation of ATVs on other roads in Tennessee, including sections of S.R. 116 and associated roads near Rocky Top in Anderson County, and the Oneida and Western (O & W) Road in Scott County are permitted year around.

The House Transportation Committee is expected to act on the bill on April 4, 2017.

In a separate bill making its way through the Tennessee Legislature, ATV riders on S.R. 63 on one of the two designated weekends would be allowed to operate their ATV after dark on one day of each weekend.  SB0680, as amended by the Senate Transportation Committee, would allow operation of ATVs up until midnight on one night of each weekend.  The bill, which was requested by the Town of Huntsville, would allow ATV riders that attend concerts and other late hour events at local Adventure Tourism events to legally make their way back to either their vehicle or campsite following such events.  Current Tennessee law limits the operation of ATVs on public highways to 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after dusk.

The Senate approved the bill last week.  The House Transportation Subcommittee will take up the matter Wednesday (March 29, 2017).