Dozens of safety experts from around the world will convene on Fri., Oct. 18 in Orlando, Florida for panel discussions and workshops in the first-ever International 4-Wheel Powersports Vehicle Safety Conference, aimed at improving operator behavior in order to reduce ATV and ROV crashes and injuries.
“This will be the largest gathering of 4-wheel powersports vehicle safety stakeholders,” said Paul Vitrano, executive vice president of the ATV Safety Institute and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association. “They will share valuable experiences, learn from each other and collaborate on ways to promote better decisions by riders and drivers.”
The conference is being hosted by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association the Right Rider Access Fund, and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. Experts from the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe will discuss ways to help youth programs, dealerships, land managers and enthusiast organizations with best safety practices.
Congressman Tim Griffin, co-chairman of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus, and a dirt bike and OHV enthusiast, will share his thoughts, via pre-recorded video, on motorized recreation and OHV safety. Since 2010, Rep. Griffin has served Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District. He is a veteran, attorney and previous small business owner who resides in Little Rock with his wife and their two children. Additionally, he hosted a motocross event earlier this year called Ridin’ with your Rep, which allowed people to share their views on issues affecting the sport.
Vitrano will update attendees on U.S. safety associations. Throughout the day, 15 panelists will discuss safety topics affecting off-highway vehicles and riders/drivers from around the world. The panels include topics for international associations, youth programs, dealerships and land managers.
The ASI strongly recommends that all ATV riders follow the warning labels on each vehicle. All ATV enthusiasts, no matter their age or experience level, can further minimize their risk by adhering to the ASI’s Golden Rules of ATV Safety:
1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
2. Never ride on paved roads except to cross, when done safely and permitted by law. Another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
5. Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
6. Supervise riders younger than 16. ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
8. Take a hands-on ATV RiderCourse and the free online E-Course. Call toll-free at (800) 887-2887 or go to www.atvsafety.org to register.
ROHVA recommends that anyone under the age of 16, or without a driver’s license, not operate an ROV (also known as a “side-by-side”). ROHVA also urges all ROV drivers to help ensure their own safety and that of passengers and other trail users by following ROHVA’s Safety Rules:
1. Always fasten your seat belt, wear a helmet and other protective gear and keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.
2. Avoid paved surfaces. ROVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
3. Drive only in designated areas, at a safe speed, and use care when turning and crossing slopes.
4. Never drive or ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
5. Never drive an ROV unless you’re 16 or older and have a valid driver’s license. ROVs are not toys.
6. Never carry more passengers than the ROV is designed for, and never allow a passenger who is too small to sit in a passenger seat to ride in the ROV.
7. Read and follow the operator’s manual and warning labels.
8. Take a hands-on ROV Basic DriverCourseSM and the free online E-Course. Visit rohva.org or call 866.267.2751.
The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association is a national industry organization that promotes the safe and responsible use of ROVs. ROHVA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop equipment, configuration and performance standards. Based in Irvine, Calif., the not-for-profit association is sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Polaris and Yamaha. For more information visit www.rohva.org.
The Right Rider Access Fund is a charitable, community benefit organization created in 2011 to support off-highway vehicle enthusiasts directly, by supplementing the work of the Motorcycle Industry Council, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, and in other ways. The Fund’s charitable mission is to promote the safe and responsible use of off-highway vehicles and to preserve their access to appropriate lands. For more information, to contribute or for assistance in establishing a payroll deduction or matching gift program, visit www.riderfund.org or call 877-806-7813.
The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, through its division, the ATV Safety Institute, promotes the safe and responsible use of all-terrain vehicles through rider training, public awareness campaigns and state legislation. Additionally, the SVIA works to preserve access to off-road lands and expand riding opportunities. The SVIA is a resource for ATV research, statistics and vehicle standards. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the SVIA develops standards for the equipment, configuration and performance requirements of ATVs. Based in Irvine, Calif., the SVIA is a not-for-profit industry association sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, KYMCO, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha. Visit the SVIA online at www.svia.org. For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourseSM nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org or call (800) 887-2887.