Dear Mahatma: The newspaper reports that one person died and two others were injured about 12:35 a.m. in a crash involving an all-terrain vehicle in Greene County. How many have to die before Arkansas law enforcement gets these unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured devices off our streets and highways? I lost a friend when I was a wee lad when he drove his three-wheeler across a highway into the path of a car. I will never forget. Not to mention -- 12:35 a.m.? -- William
Dear William: It's unfair to saddle this burden on law enforcement. The responsibility rests on adults who should not themselves ride an ATV on a highway, nor allow their children to do so.
Maybe part of the problem is that not enough people know this is illegal. Let this column be of service on this matter.
Arkansas Code Annotated 27-21-106 tells us that no one may drive an ATV on a public street or highway, even if it meets the proper equipment standards.
There are exemptions for farming and hunting, but only if the ATV is being used to get from one field to another. The driver must come to a complete stop, yielding to oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard. The street or highway must be crossed at approximately a 90-degree angle. In the dark or in conditions of reduced visibility, front and back lights must be on.
People with a serious walking disability may use an ATV on public roadways, but with restrictions too numerous to list here but easy enough to glean from the statute.
As for the part about 12:35 a.m., wise folks know that very little good happens after midnight.
All Knowing, All Seeing One: When driving home the other night, I noticed that almost all of the interstate signs between the airport and downtown are unreadable. The reflective lettering seems to have worn out and there aren't any lights to illuminate the signs. Thank goodness I memorized the way home, otherwise I might have ended up in Texas (gasp!). Visitors to our fine city might not be so lucky. Is anything being done to improve the signage? -- Greg
Dear Greg: It would be fun to ask the Arkansas Department of Transportation how many signs it has. We suspect there aren't enough fingers and toes in Arkansas to count them.
Something actually is being done. We are putting this in the column, which is massively influential. Or something.
Now light a candle. Go to idrivearkansas.com. See the contact button on the upper right corner of the home page. Scroll down to Report a Problem. Then report.
By the way, we were recently in Texas, our nemesis to the southwest. Like Arkansas, it has a 75 mph speed limit for rural interstates, but got there first.
Dear Mahatma: This from my 2007 Corvette -- POPSTOY. -- Dick
Dear Dick: Thank you for making us jealous of both your vanity plate and your Corvette.