Ind. ATV Safety Classes Help Reduce Injuries, Fatalities

September 18, 2007

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Purdue University’s Extension Service are offering safety classes to help riders of all-terrain vehicles reduce and avoid injuries and fatal accidents.

Indiana had more than 200 ATV accidents last year, including eight fatalities, the DNR said. The number of deaths from ATV accidents is down 11 from the year before.

People who attend ATV safety classes may be less likely to be reckless on the vehicles, said Jerene Gilliam, Purdue’s extension educator in Scott County.

“If we can do one thing to keep them from cracking open their head or breaking their arm, then we’re doing our job,” she said.

About 20 young people between the ages of about 9 and 16 took part in an ATV safety course Saturday at the Clark County 4-H Fairgrounds in Charlestown.

The first half of the training was spent in the classroom, and later class participants rode ATVs around courses.

Clark County extension educator Bob Allen said that the agencies sponsoring the training classes are not necessarily promoting ATV use by children. But Allen added that young people do ride ATVs, and training can help.

“We organize the courses because, really, we know young people are doing this, and we want to promote safety education,” he said. “By the time they leave our program they’ll have an understanding of the whole package as far as riding safety is concerned.”

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