Ohio considers youth ATV training, gear requirement

Publish Date: 
May 28, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A state legislator wants all ATV riders younger than 16 to wear helmets and goggles, and be required to pass a safety course before riding on public land.

Safety manuals and warnings provided by OEMs and existing laws that generally prohibit use of ATVs on public roads aren't enough to protect users, particularly children, said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), author of House Bill 504.

"It is my belief that Ohio needs to provide additional safety training and education to help protect young ATV riders from serious injury or death and make parents more aware of these safety measures," he told members of the Ohio House's transportation committee, where the legislation had its first hearing Tuesday.

Existing state law, Cera told the Daily Record, already prohibits careless or reckless use of ATVs on public land, carrying passengers unless the vehicles are designed to do so and operating ATVs if impaired by drugs or alcohol.

HB 504 would require children younger than 16 to complete a certified safety education and training program before being allowed to drive ATVs on public property. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources would develop the training, with help from the Department of Public Safety.

The bill would include "vehicles that operate on a cushion of air, vehicles commonly known as all-terrain vehicles, all-season vehicles, mini-bikes and trail bikes," according to an analysis by the state's Legislative Service Commission.

From the Dealernews wires