The beautiful desert landscape of Utah brings many outdoor opportunities to residents and visitors alike. One particular activity that seems to be enjoyed by all is riding all terrain-vehicles (ATV) such as four wheelers, side-by-sides and similar off-road vehicles (ORV).
In our community, recently as well as in the past, there have been accidents involving ATVs and ORVs. In order to avoid these collisions, there are certain safety guidelines that should be followed.
When on an ATV or an ORV, please be aware that headphones and ear buds can make it difficult to hear and communicate with others, and in some places it is actually illegal to operate these vehicles with both ears covered.
It is important to never mix riding with alcohol or drugs, travel only in areas designated for ATV and ORV use only, comply with all signs and barriers, always be considerate of others on the road or trails and keep speeds low around crowds and camp areas to keep the dust down.
Make sure to always let someone know your travel plans, make a realistic travel plan and stick to it. Deviating off of known trails can increase danger. Wear a helmet, eye protection and other safety gear and know your limitations by watching your time, fuel and energy.
It is a good idea to be cautious of livestock and wildlife around you and try not to spook them while riding. Motorized and mechanized vehicles are not allowed in designated wilderness areas.
Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood is interested in the safety of the citizens of Carbon and Emery counties and wanted to shed further light on ATV and ORV use.
There is an ATV safety course that, if a citizen is under 16 and plan on driving on public lands, every citizen must complete. The course costs $29.50 and can be completed online. In order to take the class you must be at least eight years of age and a resident of Utah. The course can be found on the Division of Natural Resources website. Sheriff Wood wanted to stress that if you plan on recreating on forest or BLM lands, you must have the certificate to be an eligible rider.
An issue often seen in Price and the surrounding areas is people riding their ATVs and ORVs on rural street roads and highways. Sheriff Wood stated that it is legal in Price City to travel to the gas station and to trail heads. He also said that most of the cities in Carbon County are the same. It is also legal to cross the highway if you are traveling perpendicular but not right along it. Sheriff Wood went on to explain that most of the designated county routes are also ATV designated, but you have to have a street legal kit that includes radial tires on your machine, turn signals and a horn.
Sheriff Wood also encouraged people to be sure that they carry a few different things while they’re traveling. The first thing is water. It can be used for radiator leaks and it is also important to stay hydrated, especially if you break down and have to walk. Sheriff Wood stated that it is also a good idea to travel with someone else and not to ride alone. Be sure and carry a tow strap in case you come across someone in need.
The third thing that Sheriff Wood wanted to stress is the importance of a cell phone. If you were in an accident or stuck you can call somebody for assistance. Sunscreen in the summer is always encouraged as well.
Lastly, always be sure to let someone know your travel plans.
“If you don’t come home, they know where to start looking,” Sheriff Wood stated.