Officer To Focus On ATV Safety

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

Officials say it's the first of it's kind effort to enforce ATV safety in Kentucky.

Knott County officials say they will soon have someone dedicated to making sure ATV riders, especially young ones, know what's right and wrong.

Judge Executive Randy Thompson tells me he's wanted to create this position since taking office. Now he says it's only steps away from becoming a reality.

With the only ATV training facility in the Commonwealth, Knott County officials say they are excited to have a new first when it comes to the popular outdoor activity.

"We in Knott County are taking that first step. So we're kind of getting a jump on everybody else," said Knott County Police Chief Ken Amburgey.

Fish and Wildlife Officer Ken Amburgey retired from that post after 22 years. Taking only a month off, he's now eager to get started as the new county chief of police, focusing on ATV education and enforcement.

"Education is key, so people can understand why you're doing certain things," added Amburgey.

Officials say this effort isn't just to issue citations to riders who aren't following the ATV laws. It's also to reinforce safety as Eastern Kentucky makes a huge push for adventure tourism.

"It's just a dangerous situation and we don't want to have to go to a funeral for somebody that's been in an ATV accident," said Thompson.

Judge thompson says for the most part, he believes many ATV riders are responsible in his county, but there are some who still need to get the message. Amburgey hopes to reach young people especially.

"They ride machines a lot of times that adults have problems with," said Amburgey.

"No matter what you do, you have a few that are not respectful of others and a little reckless and those few give the majority a bad name," added Thompson.

Thompson and Amburgey hope it's an effort that will catch on in other Eastern Kentucky counties and possibly statewide.

Amburgey will patrol roadways, ATV trails and follow up on complaints from the community. Thompson says Amburgey will be sworn in as soon as they hear from the Kentucky Retirement Board.

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