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Off road vehicle safety rules outlined

By Sun Advocate

A favorite outdoor activity is operating off road vehicles such as bikes. Although many participate in the activity, not al operators are aware of the rules that apply. The following information outlines what restrictions are in place for those who use off road vehicles on public lands.
Many riders are not aware of the danger which four wheel bikes pose, especially to younger riders. No one under eight years of age may operate an off road vehicle on public roads, trails, or lands. Drivers from eight to 15 years of age must possess an off road vehicle education certificate issued by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Drivers 16 years of age and older must possess a valid driver’s license or an off road education certificate.
Education certificates will be issued to anyone eight years old and older who completes the divisons off road education course or passes a knowledge and skills test. Contact the division for education information.
Properly-fitted, safety-rated helmets must be worn by all off road vehicle drivers and passengers under 18 years of age. All drivers and passengers of any age should wear protective head gear.
To ensure that the public land remains in prestine condition for all riders to enjoy, off road vehicle operators should excersise caution while traveling the designated riding paths. The following safety precautions will ensure the safety off all traveling these roads and will allow visitors for years to come to also enjoy the area.
•Ride only in areas designated as open to off road vehicles.
•Ride on the right side of the road and in single file.
•Be alert to oncoming traffic, especially on blind curves or in dips and on hill crests.
•It is illegal to drive an off road vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
•A brightly colored “whip flag” must be attached to off road vehicles when riding in sand dune areas.
•Lights must be used between sunset and sunrise.
•Be sure the brakes will control and stop the off road vehicle.
•Mufflers are required on all off road vehicles.
•Obey rules of the riding area.
•Never ride alone.
•Ride only at safe speeds for existing conditions.
•Unless the off road vehicle is designated to carry passengers, don’t.
•Adults should accompany and supervise drivers between the ages of eight and 15 at all times.
•Off road vehicle operators should be able to straddle the machine with a slight bend to the knees while the feet are on the foot rests.
•Wear clothing that covers the arms and legs, over-the-ankle boots, gloves and shatter resistant eye protection (sunglasses are not recommended).
•Be prepared for emergencies before heading out for a ride.
•Carry a small tool kit and parts, a first aid and survival kit, and a tow rope.
If an accident occurs while riding an off road vehicle, the following steps should be taken.
•Help other people involved in the accident.
•Notify local law enforcement officers immediately by the quickest means of communication available.
•Give a name, address and identification to any injured person or owner of property that is damaged in the accident.
•Submit a completed and signed off road vehicle accident report to the Division of Parks and Recreation within 15 days in the event anyone involved dies or is injured.
Off road vehicle accident forms are available from the divison or any state parks ranger. Information in accident reports is confidential.
Off road vehicles can be enjoyable, however rules should be followed at all times. By doing so, drivers will ensure that all who participate in off road vehicle activities will remain safe and will not harm the environment in which they are traveling through.

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