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UTV usage in county

By Teresa Crowder
Freelance Writer

Johnson County entails a visually appetizing and soul-quenching terrain with tranquil beauty from the tip of Shady Mountain to the state line at Trade.
Residents and visitors flock to the county roads, adventure-seeking and connecting with the dazzling displays of nature, especially in the summer and fall months. At times, one may encounter UTVs as this is the preferred method of some locals to casually run to the local store or grab a bite in town.
UTVs are often referred to by many as a “side by side.”
Tennessee includes UTVs in the category of “Class I off-highway vehicles,” defined as a motorized vehicle with 4-6 wheels whose top speed is greater than 35 mph. It has a steering wheel and a non-straddle seating capable of holding 2-4 passengers.
Doe Mountain, a local recreational area, manifests a collaborative effort of adventure and the calm of
nature often encountered by using UTVs or Utility
Terrain Vehicles on designated trails.
These trails are designed for further roaming in and about the county exploring the depths of all its offerings. Recently, Doe Mountain has made available an interactive geo-referenced map and downloading the PDF of Trails to a mobile device.
Next, visit your mobile devices app store and download a free georeferenced
pdf viewer such as Avenza Maps. Then open the downloaded map and click the arrow to find your location. Riders must allow their
device to know their
location while using the app. A signal is unnecessary for this to work; however, one will need to download the app and map when connected to Wifi.
When individuals veer off the beaten path in their UTV, motorists need to be alert and share the road as Tennessee permits UTV to use on county roads where the following conditions are met:
•the UTV is capable of exceeding 35 mph;
•the UTV is equipped with brakes;
•the UTV is equipped with 2 tail lights, stop lights, and headlights;
•the UTV is equipped with a horn;
•the UTV is equipped with a roll bar;
•the UTV has seat belts for each seat;
•the UTV is equipped with a spark arrester;
•the UTV is equipped with a working muffler properly connected to the exhaust system;
•the operator is at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license; and
•the operator has proof of liability insurance meeting the same requirements as for a motor vehicle.
•anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet
Off-highway motor vehicles may be operated or driven upon a highway but only on a two-lane highway and only to cross the road according to Tennessee Code Annotated. For more specific references on UTVs, visit https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2014/title-55/chapter-8/part-1/section-55-8-185.
For more, visit www.doetn.com/trail-map-rules.