By: Robert Janis
Safety Is Priority
One for ATV Safety Institute
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
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
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.
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
- Completion of the ATV RiderCourse
- Passing the Instructor Lesson Demonstration
- 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
For more information about the organization
visit its website at: