HYRUM – With the warm summer weather, more people are getting out and using off-highway vehicles. OHVs can provide lots of outdoor fun, but it is important to be aware of the necessary steps to ensure safety.
Hyrum State Park manager Chris Bradshaw said every year the state park tries to promote safety messages. One is to always wear the necessary safety gear such as a helmet, ankle boots, gloves and long sleeve shirts.
“Obviously it is state law for anyone under the age of 18 but we advise everyone when they are out riding a vehicle to wear a helmet,” he said. “You know they save lives and can definitely save you from serious injury if you are in an accident. Obviously nobody plans for an accident so it’s always good to wear that.”
Another safety message Bradshaw emphasizes is to make sure you know the routes. He said every land management agency in the state has maps designating which routes are open for OHV use and which are closed. Trail maps that include a rating system for the degree of difficulty are available at <a href=”http://stateparks.utah.gov/resources/ohv/maps-publications” target=”_blank”>stateparks.utah.gov</a>.
“Obviously you want to check out the travel map of where you are going before you get there so that you have some idea of the degree of difficulty of the trail that you’ll be on,” he said.
Other safety tips Bradshaw gave included staying on the right side of the trail, riding single file, staying on designated routes, not to use drugs or alcohol while riding and operator education. Anyone over the age of eight who doesn’t have a motor vehicle license is required to have an operator certificate. The certificate is available through an online course at <a href=”http://stateparks.utah.gov/resources/ohv/permits” target=”_blank”>stateparks.utah.gov</a>.
“The best thing you can do is just be aware of your machine, your equipment, before you go,” he said. “Know what you’ve got. Obviously wear your safety equipment. If you are involved in an accident, it is always good to have a cell phone with you or GPS so you can call and let people know where you’re at so when they come to help you it makes it easier to find you.”