The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the ATV Safety Institute will join forces to promote off-highway vehicle (OHV) safety as part of ATV Safety Week, which runs from June 2-11.
To help mark the occasion, AZGFD will offer a free hands-on ATV safety course from 7 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 6; Thursday, June 8 and Saturday, June 10 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility at 4044 W. Black Canyon Blvd. in Phoenix.
“Safety courses are great for any kind of rider – regardless of how skilled or how long you’ve ridden,” said Kim Jackson, AZGFD OHV Safety Education Program manager. “Taking a safety course is a great way to get updated on proper OHV use, law changes and other OHV-related information.”
In 2015, 423 people required hospitalization as a result of OHV-related injuries, according to hospital figures maintained by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Forty-one percent of those injured were 15-34 years old and of all accidents, 77 percent of riders were male.
“OHVs can offer good fun, but these machines can also be dangerous if its operator is not properly educated on safe and ethical use,” Jackson said. “The first step in helping to prevent a serious injury is to take a safety course and remembering to always wear a helmet. It could save your life, preventing a needless tragedy.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 92 percent of all ATV-related fatalities are the result of warned-against behaviors, such as youth riding on adult-sized ATVs. The public is invited to take some time during ATV Safety Week to learn about the proper operation of OHVs, find out about helmets and other proper protective gear, and learn ways to dramatically reduce risk to themselves, their family and friends.
Those wishing to take the free hands-on course can register by visiting www.azgfd.gov/OHV and clicking “OHV Safety and Education” or calling (800) 887-2887. A course may be cancelled if there is not at least four people registered.
All hands-on courses are for riders 16 years and older. Riders must provide their own ATV and proper riding equipment, including:
• DOT-approved helmet
• Riding goggles
• Long sleeves
• Long pants
• Over-the-ankle boots
For additional information or questions about ATV Safety week, course offerings and online courses, call 623-236-7384 or visit www.azgfd.com/Education/OHV.