It’s ATV season again in the Twin Tiers, and every year, riders are killed or seriously injured in our area. New York and Pennsylvania have some of the highest ATV fatal accident rates in the country.
If you’re thinking of buying an all-terrain vehicle, or you already have one and you’re ready to head out, take a few minutes and do a little homework. It might save your life or the life of someone you love.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that in just the first two weeks in May, at least 19 deaths were reported across the country, including two children under 16 years old.
The CPSC provides the following tips for riders:
- Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
- Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride an adult ATV.
- Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Take a hands-on safety training course.
When it comes to children on ATVs:
- More than 90 percent of ATV-related injuries involving children can be attributed to a lack of developmental skills needed to maneuver the faster, more powerful adult ATVs.
- Children younger than 16 years old should be on age-appropriate youth models, which are required to travel at lower speeds than adult ATVs and to have an adjustable speed limiter.
- All ATVs should be equipped with a label that indicates the manufacturer’s recommended age for that particular model.
- Children younger than 6 years old should never be on any ATV — either as a driver or passenger.
The ATV laws in New York State:
- No passengers are allowed on the ATV unless it is designed to carry more than one person.
- All riders (operator and passengers) must wear a helmet at all times.
- All ATVs must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, renewing registration once every year.
- ATV use on highways is prohibited, except to cross these roads.
- No one under 10 may ride or operate an ATV.
- Operators between 10 and 15 may ride an ATV if they are on their parent’s land and supervised by a parent, or on their parent’s land and in possession of a safety training certificate.
- No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.
Read more about the laws here.
The ATV laws in Pennsylvania:
- No ATV shall be operated without a lighted headlight and taillight from ½ hour after sunset to half-hour before sunrise.
- All ATVs must be titled and registered, with the owner receiving one numbered plate.
- Registration is to be renewed once every two years.
- No one under age 8 shall operate an ATV on state-owned land.
- No one between 8 and 15 may operate an ATV unless on a parent’s land or in possession of a safety training certificate.
- No one under 16 may cross a highway or operate an ATV on designated roads unless in possession of a safety certificate and with an adult 18 or older.
- ATV use on any street or highway is prohibited, except to cross and except for roads designated as ATV roads.
Read more about the laws here.
Have fun riding this summer, but put safety first!
To enroll in an ATV Safety Institute course, click here.
Thanks for reading,
ZiffLaw Attorney, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901