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Simple steps to increase ATV safety

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and safety officials remind people to be aware of the regulations and safety training opportunities before they head for the trails or allow youth to ride off-highway vehicles.

Riders between ages 12 and 15 must take an online course and a hands-on riding performance class. Those age 16 and older born after July 1, 1987, must complete an online course.

While youth riders are required to complete ATV safety courses, officials encourage anyone who operates an ATV to complete safety training. In about 92 percent of the 143 ATV-related fatalities in Minnesota since 2010, the operator didn’t have an ATV safety certificate.

“We’ve seen the same trends in our other safety education programs — people who complete them are less likely to be involved in fatal or life-threatening accidents,” said Capt. Jon Paurus, Enforcement Education Program coordinator.

While it’s recommended all riders wear a helmet, it’s only required of those under age 18. Whether they’re riding a Class 1 or a larger Class 2 vehicle, they must wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet.

Visit mndnr.gov/safety/vehicle/atv/index.html for more information about ATV safety training. Read more about off-highway vehicle regulations are at mndnr.gov/regulations/ohv/index.html.

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