ATV Safety Regulations Often Overlooked
WESLACO - The family involved in an ATV accident Thursday said they had just bought the 4-wheeler last week.
A 29-year-old man and his 3-year-old daughter were thrown off a unit in a matter of seconds after he lost control. The man suffered fractured ribs to his left side. Both are being treated at McAllen Medical Center.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS wanted to know what safety regulations are in place for people who ride ATVs.
David Tamez, sales manager for F&T Valley Motor Sports, said safety signs are often overlooked.
“On all of our ATVs there’s age requirements on them. The manufacturers are actually really strict about age requirements,” he said.
Tamez said the first question customers are asked is who will be operating the unit. He said it’s an inquiry that helps determine whether safety is top of mind.
“If they tell us that it’s for someone that’s under the age requirement, and they’re trying to purchase something that’s not for them, we won’t sell them anything,” he said.
Tamez said he won’t hesitate to turn business away if it means following regulations.
ATVs are regulated for ages six and up. Anyone younger shouldn’t be allowed in the unit, according to Tamez.
Other rules include number of riders per unit and necessary gear to operate the off-road vehicle.
“The danger comes with the sport, just as it does in football, baseball, basketball and anything else,” he said.
Tamez said people tend to break one rule in particular. He said signs on the off-road vehicle warn people not to ride more than one to a unit.
“There are some ATVs that are specifically designed for two or more passengers, and that’s going to be something that can harm others. However, the majority of the ATVS are only intended for one rider,” he said.
The manager said some farmland is off limits and it’s legally not permitted to operate off-road vehicles on the.
He said people need to ensure they know the law and regulations before making a purchase.
Tamez added experience in the end isn’t a requirement. He said it’s an additional component and people new to the sport should take extra precautions.
The manager said options are also offered at his facility for first-time riders. He said they offer a free course for off-road vehicle every first Saturday of every month.
Anyone interested doesn’t have to own an off-road vehicle because they’re provided in the course.
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