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Summer Safety Alert from the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute

IRVINE, Calif.--May 26, 2006--As the nation begins to enjoy the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute would like to reinforce the importance of all-terrain vehicle safety.

Summer marks a time when children have more free time to enjoy many activities, including riding ATVs. Parental supervision is a key element to a child's safety and children under the age of 16 must be supervised at all times when operating an ATV. Parents literally hold the key to their children's safety. Every ATV has an ignition key, and when a parent or guardian controls the key, they control the use.

There are approximately seven million ATVs in use in the United States being operated by more than 15 million Americans. It is important that all riders understand the importance of safe and responsible use of ATVs. Almost 90 percent of youth ATV-related injury incidents occur when a youth is operating an adult-sized ATV, meaning that the engine size is greater than 90 cubic centimeters. Every child under the age of 16 should be supervised and should never be permitted to ride an adult-sized ATV.

Consumer Product Safety Commission data show that over 90 percent of all ATV-related fatalities are the result of warned against behaviors. The ATV Safety Institute has eight Golden Rules of ATV safety that address these behaviors and apply to all riders:

   1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
   2. Never ride on public roads -- another vehicle could hit you.
   3. Never rider 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 to 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; Call Toll-Free at 800.887.2887, or go 
      to www.atvsafety.org.

To reach out with important safety information to the vast number of current and potential all-terrain vehicle riders, the ATV Safety Institute has posted a web-friendly version of its 'Ride Safe, Ride Smart' video on the www.atvsafety.org home page for viewing or free download. A VHS copy is also available for a nominal fee.

This eight-minute video demonstrates the importance of getting a proper start in ATV riding, whether you ride ATVs for recreation or for business. Two families are profiled; both sets of parents lead by example, emphasizing riding an ATV that's right for your age, wearing proper protective gear, supervising young riders, and respecting the environment. They also recommend taking an ATV RiderCourse to get the most from your ATV.

The ATV Safety Institute encourages families to watch this fun, informative video together, so they may prepare for a safe, fun summer. For more information on ATV safety or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse(SM) nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org or call 800.887.2887.

About the ATV Safety Institute

The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute(R), 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 www.atvsafety.org and click on "Online Enrollment," or call 800.887.2887.