May is ATV Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were approximately 340 All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)-related deaths and 97,200 ATV-related injuries treated at emergency departments in the United States in 2015. Approximately 20% of all ATV-related fatalities since 1982 have occurred among children under the age of 16
It’s ATV Safety Awareness Month! I would like to introduce you to the Vermont ATV Sportsman’s Association (VASA). We are the statewide association of ATV clubs dedicated to developing, promoting, and conserving responsible, family-friendly ATV recreation throughout Vermont. The safety of our members and their families is our focus.
- Did you know that it is the law that all riders under the age of 18 possess a state-approved safety certificate?
- Did you know that for many years, this law was in effect yet there was no safety course in Vermont?
Safety Courses for Everyone
In 2008, VASA worked with the Vermont State Police to implement a state-approved online safety course. It is a success! The program helps students receive their state-approved safety certificate for only $30.
VASA also offers a program that is more comprehensive than an online course. We developed VEST: VASA Education & Safety Training. The VEST ATV Safety course is a classroom-style course that requires at-home study, homework completion, and half a day in the classroom. It is followed by a certification exam. Students aged 12-18 are welcome. VASA provides this course for free. Our instructors have years of experience in riding and are certified by the ATV Safety Institute of America. VEST courses are held throughout the state, usually in the spring before ATV riding season begins. That said, we are eager to host courses wherever and whenever there is a community with interest! Contact us to let us know.
As unbelievable as it sounds, we often hear parents say: “My child doesn’t need that. He’s been riding since he was five.”
While many children may have riding experience, this is in no excuse to skip out on proper safety education. Not to mention, it is the law! ATV accidents are preventable. Help us keep Vermont youth safe by spreading the word about VEST ATV Safety courses or contact us today to host a class in your area!
Visit our website for more ATV safety information www.vtvasa.org.
Dani Luce is Operations Director and Safety Coordinator at the VT ATV Sportsman’s Association. Contact here at firstname.lastname@example.org.