IMPORTANT READING - Summer Safety Alert for Parents

July 2009...EASI wants to be sure that parents of young riders appreciate that ATVs are not toys. By taking charge of the ignition key, parents can decide where and when their children ride an ATV based on overseeing and monitoring their ability and judgment skills.

With an unusually hot summer promised, the European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (EASI) has issued a timely alert to remind parents about safety training courses designed to teach children how to ride their ATVs safely.

Active and direct parental supervision is vital to a child's safety when riding an ATV, which can also be referred to as a quad bike. Young riders under the age of 16 should be supervised at all times and parents should make sure that the children in their care only ride ATVs that are specifically manufactured for the appropriate age group as clearly stated on prominent labels on each ATV machine. Where in doubt at any stage, parents can ask their local EASI authorised dealer for advice about the most appropriate ATV for their child, as well as about recommended safety clothing and helmets.

Responsible use means taking a pro-active ‘safety-first’ approach to ATV riding at all times. Parents should set rules for bike use, discuss them with their children and even contact friends' parents to check whether ATVs may be available at a location or any event their child is attending.

The European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute publishes TEN Golden Rules of ATV Safety which are not only relevant to novice riders but can also act as a reminder to experienced riders, no matter their age.

1.     Take an EASI Rider ATV safety training course.

2.     Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.

3.     Read your machine’s Owners Manual and familiarise yourself with the importance of all warning labels displayed on your ATV.

4.     Avoid paved surfaces.

5.     Never ride on public roads unless your machine is a Quadricycle that has been specifically manufactured for this purpose and complies with the relevant type approval code for that particular model of Quadricycle and you hold the correct type of Driving Licence and Insurance.

6.     Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

7.     Never carry a passenger unless your machine has been specifically designed and manufactured to do so.

8.     Ride an ATV that’s right for your age and experience.

9.     Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.

10.    Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.

Finally, there is no sure way to predict whether a child will be able to ride an ATV safely because not all children have the necessary strength, skill or judgment.

To help parents make this important decision, EASI provides a free booklet called ‘Parents, Youngsters and All-Terrain Vehicles’ available on request either by phoning 01903 816286 or emailing easiinfo@quadsafety.org.


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