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By: Robert Janis

ATV Safety Institute

Safety Is Priority One for ATV Safety Institute

Continued from page 1...

Various ATVs at the Honda Rider Education Center- Colton, CA.
Various ATVs at the Honda Rider Education Center- Colton, CA.

(ASI) RiderCourse students preparing to start their ATVs using BONE-C. BONE-C is a starting procedure acronym; B-Brakes O-On (fuel vent) N-Neutral E-Engine Stop Switch C-Choke.
(ASI) RiderCourse students preparing to start their ATVs using BONE-C. BONE-C is a starting procedure acronym; B-Brakes O-On (fuel vent) N-Neutral E-Engine Stop Switch C-Choke.

ATVs are rider-active. To enhance the performance capabilities of the ATV, riders must shift their body weight.
ATVs are rider-active. To enhance the performance capabilities of the ATV, riders must shift their body weight.

The Enrollment Express program works like this. When a new ATV is purchased, the dealer gives the customer information on the ATV Safety Institute. Later an Enrollment Express representative contacts the purchaser to offer a free ATV RiderCourse scheduled to take place in their area of residence.

The ATV Safety Institute claims that in 2007 26.4 percent of all first-time buyers of new ATVs in the U.S. who did not have previous riding experience took advantage of the free training session.

Moreover, individuals who are considering the purchase of an ATV can participate in RiderCourse classes before they purchase a vehicle. This gives them an opportunity to determine if riding an ATV is something they truly want to do before they actually buy one. Students who participate in the training sessions and then purchase an ATV will be eligible to receive reimbursement for their training fees if they buy an ATV within 12 months of the completion of the course.

Individuals learn of the ATV Safety Institute’s programs through ATV dealerships. Each ATV sold has warning labels and hang tags calling attention to the importance of safety information concerning ATVs. In addition, as part of the sales process a purchaser of a new ATV must sign and initial in up to nine locations, an ATV Rider Certificate. The Certificate comes from the manufacturer of the purchased ATV, and it helps assure that buyers of ATVs understand all safety precautions. Purchasers also receive safety alerts which repeat the warnings about safe and responsible use of an ATV and a copy of the ATV Safety Institute’s Ride Safe, Ride Smart video.

The ATV Safety Institute works closely with states that have legislated requirements for training to approve the group’s RiderCourse as a program that meets a law’s requirements. Moreover, California, for example, recognizes the ATV Safety Institute as a “Safety Training Organization,” and it has been licensed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. ATV Safety Institute instructors are licensed by the state and instructors go through a background check. Also, the ATV Safety Institute has an agreement with California State Parks that permits riders under the age of 18 to take training courses for free.

Representatives of the ATV Safety Institute have participated in events that provide hands-on familiarization of ATVs with members of legislative committees and have trained staffs of federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Institute also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Land Management and is renewing its Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Forest Service. The group has coordinated with local instructors to participate in events that promote state programs, ATV dealer events, and local and statewide club events.

Training Instructors

Obviously, the instructors are the backbone of any safety program, and The ATV Safety Institute is dedicated to ensuring that its instructors are properly trained. Instructors must go through a four-day workshop which prepares them to teach the RiderCourse classes. To be a licensed instructor an individual must be an experienced ATV rider prior to the instruction training, complete, and submit to the Institute an “Application for Licensing and Enrollment in an ATV Instructor Preparation Course,” and attend 32 hours of instruction classes which include:

  • Completion of the ATV RiderCourse
  • Passing the Instructor Lesson Demonstration Assessment
  • Passing the Instructor Knowledge Test
  • Passing a practical student teaching experience

The RiderCourse uses 798 training sites and includes 2,280 active ATV Safety Institute instructors as well as 51 chief instructors. The ATV Safety Institute training sites are adaptable to the various terrains found throughout the country. Criteria for choosing a location for a course include:

  • An off-road area about 150-feet by 200-feet.
  • A surface that is not pavement or ice and that is free of obstacles, ruts, mounds, fences, mud, water, and guide wires.
  • Land that is easily accessible by car and truck hauling an ATV.
  • A location that takes environmental concerns into consideration including noise distraction, dust, vegetation, and wildlife.

The ATV Safety Institute determines if a safety program or promotion is necessary by following the lead of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Commission tracks safety relating to consumer products which includes ATVs.

For more information about the organization visit its website at: www.atvsafety.org.

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