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  1. John Stewart
  2. Places To Go
  3. Friday, June 30 2017, 06:13 PM

Always wear your helmet when hitting the trail

PHOENIX — With the weekends surrounding the Fourth of July quickly approaching, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds everyone planning to hit the trails on off-highway vehicles (OHV) to be safe and ride responsibly.

AZGFD officers and partner agencies will be out enforcing rules and regulations to ensure the safety of OHV operators and passengers. Citations and warnings are given for issues like failing to have a current OHV decal and allowing children under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet. It’s also important to remember that OVHs and alcohol don’t mix — operating any vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is always illegal, regardless of what type of vehicle it is.

“We strongly recommend that all operators and passengers wear a helmet, whether you’re riding an all-terrain vehicle, side-by-side or a dirt bike,” said Josh Hurst, off-highway vehicle law enforcement coordinator for the AZGFD. “Riders younger than 18 are legally required to wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet, but it’s a good safety best practice for everyone.”

In addition to always wearing a helmet, ride safely by following these practices:

  • Wear a seat belt at all times if the OHV is equipped with it.
  • Only carry the number of passengers recommended by the manufacturer for your vehicle. Often many accidents are the result of too many people riding a machine that was designed for fewer passengers.
  • Wear riding goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, riding gloves and over-the-ankle boots.
  • Never ride alone.
  • Be prepared and equipped with a map, first-aid kit and whistle, and have basic tools on hand.
  • Stay on designated trails.

For more information about OHV riding in Arizona, including a list of locations to ride throughout the state, visit www.azgfd.gov/OHV.

John Stewart Managing Editor - 4x4Voice - 4x4Wire - MUIRNet.net Natural Resources Consultant - California Four Wheel Drive Association - http://www.cal4wheel.com Board of Directors - BlueRibbon Coalition http://www.sharetrails.org

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