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Friday, June 13, 2014 - 11:30am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — During this time of year, riding an ATV is popular and the Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage its citizens to be safe this summer.
Although riding an ATV can be fun, it can also cause serious injuries.
In 2011 there were nearly 110,000 ATV-related injuries treated in emergency rooms across the United States with brain and spinal injuries being the most significant.
Nearly 30 percent of those injured were younger than 16.
The Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind its citizens of the laws that apply to ATV use and safety.
A person that is younger than 14 must be accompanied and be under direct supervision of a responsible adult.
A person cannot operate an ATV on public property unless the person wears a safety helmet and eye protection.
A person may not carry a passenger on an ATV unless it is designed to carry a passenger.
An ATV operated on public property must have a lighted headlight and taillight after sunset. Here are some safety tips to help keep riders safe.
The ATV Safety Institute's Golden Rules:
1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law - another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
5. Ride an ATV that's right for your age.
6. Supervise young riders; ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.