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Off highway vehicle safety week focuses on education


Castle Country Off Highway Vehicle Association members travel a trail in southeastern Utah. State park officials emphasize the importance of all terrain vehicle users to obey all state laws and participate in education programs.

In a continued effort to promote safe and responsible off-highway vehicle use, Governor Michael Leavitt has declared May 4-10 as off highway vehicle safety week in Utah.

"OHV riding is a great sport for the whole family and a good way to see Utah's outdoors," stated Utah State Parks and Recreation off highway vehicle specialist Eric Stucki.

"The purpose of this safety week is to remind riders to be properly trained and educated and to ride responsibly."

Stucki offers the following guide to riding responsibly and trail etiquette.

•Motorized users must yield to non-motorized users.

•Ride only on designated roads and trails or other areas marked open for use. Respect closed areas and private property. Don't cut switchbacks or take shortcuts. Remember, areas signed as wilderness are closed to all motorized vehicles.

•Try to stay in the middle of the trail to avoid widening it. Trail widening is ugly and expensive to repair.

•Leave gates as they are found, open or closed, unless posted otherwise.

•Be courteous when passing hikers and other vehicles.

•Avoid muddy trails, save them for future trips when they are dry.

Utah law requires all riders, from age eight until a Utah driver license is received, to complete the know before you go training course in order to operate an off highway vehicle on public land.

Children under age eight cannot operate an OHV on public lands.

"The safety of children riding all terrain vehicles is absolutely a priority in Utah," says Stucki.

"We strongly encourage parents to select a properly-sized vehicle for their child. In class, students must be able to comfortably reach their brakes and foot pegs, or they are not allowed to continue the course."

Stucki added that Utah law requires a parent to attend the education class with their child and that parent and child learning doesn't end in class.

To register for the class or for information on Utah off highway vehicle laws and riding areas, contact the information center at 800-648-7433.





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