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Summer Safety Alert from the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute: A Golden Rule for ATV Riders -- Always Supervise Riders Younger Than 16

IRVINE, Calif.--Aug. 3, 20050, 2005--All-Terrain Vehicles are not toys, and Tim Buche, president of the ATV Safety Institute(R), would like to impress upon parents that they literally hold the key to their children's safety. "Every ATV has an ignition key, and when parents control the key, they control the use," said Buche.

Active and direct parental supervision is vital to a child's safety on an ATV. Children under the age of 16 need to be supervised at all times when riding, and should only ride an ATV with an engine size of 90 cubic centimeters or smaller. The ATV Safety Institute strongly recommends that children 6 years and older only ride an ATV with an engine size under 70 cubic centimeters, and children 12 years and older only ride an ATV with an engine size that is 90 cubic centimeters or smaller.

With approximately 6.2 million ATVs in use in the United States being operated by over 15 million Americans, it is important that everyone understand and appreciate the importance of safe and responsible ATV use. And this applies to everyone, even if they or their family do not own an ATV.

Safe the responsible ATV use means taking a "safety-first" approach to ATV riding at all times. It is important that parents set rules for ATV use and discuss them with their children. Parents should also consider contacting their children's friends' parents if they are unsure about whether or not an ATV may be present at a location or event their child is attending.

There is no sure way to predict whether a child will be able to ride an ATV safely, and not all children have the strength, skill or judgment needed to operate an ATV. The ATV Safety Institute offers a free booklet, "Parents, Youngsters, and All-Terrain Vehicles," that can assist parents in determining whether or not their child is ready to ride an ATV.

Parents should supervise their child's operation of the ATV at all times and allow continued use only if they are satisfied that their child has the ability and judgment to operate the ATV safely. To obtain a free copy of "Parents, Youngsters and All-Terrain Vehicles," call toll-free (800) 852-5344 or download a copy online at

ATV Golden Rules

1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
2. Never ride on public roads -- another vehicle could hit you.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
5. Ride an ATV that's right for your age. The guidelines are:
   Age 6 and older    Under 70cc
   Age 12 and older   70cc - 90cc
   Age 16 and older   Over 90cc
6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
8. Take an ATV RiderCourse; to enroll call toll free (800) 887-2887, 
   or go to

The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute, a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America(R), was formed in 1988 to implement an expanded national program of all-terrain vehicle safety education and awareness. The ATV Safety Institute's primary goal is to promote the safe and responsible use of ATVs, thereby reducing accidents and injuries that may result from improper ATV operation by the rider. For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse(SM) nearest you, visit and click on "Online Enrollment," or call 800.887.2887.