With the July 4th holiday weekend approaching, local law enforcement and safety officials remind Carbon County residents of the importance of exercising caution and following established guidelines when operating all-terrain vehicles.
Local residents have more options when riding ATVs due to the cross country system which has trailheads in many towns in the county.
To promote safety and prevent mishaps, officials encourage residents to:
Participate in an ATV training course if new to the form of recreation.
Most all-terrain vehicle manufacturers offer free hands-on training to consumers who have purchased a new ATV.
Never ride alone.
Individuals are urged to ride in groups in the case of an emergency.
Advise family member or friends of travel routes and schedules.
Carry a first aid kit on all ATVs.
Discuss safety with children before allowing youth to ride the trails.
Never operate an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Read all directions and safety instruction literature included with an ATV purchase before operating the vehicle.
Travel on paved surfaces only to and from the trailheads.
Obey all posted speed limits while traveling to the trail heads.
Wear the appropriate safety gear, including a helmet.
Wear clothing and shoes that will adequately protect from objects that riders typically encounter such as brush and rocks.
Use common sense when riding.
Common sense includes riding at a speed appropriate for the terrain encountered.
Obtain prior approval of landowners before riding on private property.
Learn about the area before riding on it.
ATV riders should always be on the lookout for downed power lines, fences, low lying branches and other hazards.
Stay on designated trails when when riding.
Keep all-terrain vehicles running quietly to avoid stressing wildlife and upsetting landowners.
Approach wildlife and livestock on a trail slowly. If startled, animals may run directly at a rider. Riders should always give animals plenty of time and room to react to the sound and motion of an ATV.
In the event a rider stumbles onto private land, cartsgalore.com recommends that ATV operators remove helmets before speaking to the landowner.
According to the site, continuing to wear a helmet while speaking to someone can give the misconception of unfriendliness and aggression. The site recommends that riders be honest and frank with landowners about how they came upon the private property.
In conclusion, riders should check out ATVs, including the nuts, bolts, steering brakes and controls, frame (for stress fractures) and tires (for wear) before riding.
Local residents should also inspect all-terrain vehicles for loose or missing parts before and after all rides.