First off let me say I don't own an ATV, wouldn't own an ATV and don't know anyone who does own an ATV. And that's a LOT considering what part of the state I live in. Kids and adults alike have been killed on these things mostly because of unsafe riding practices. I blame the parents for the death of their children on these things, and the adults who get into accidents? Most of them were out of control, I hate to say this but when you do stupid things, you pay, sometimes with your life. As long as you don't take an innocent person out with you.
There's a new law effective October 1 that among other things, allows people to drive ATV's on unpaved roads with speed limits of less than 35MPH only during the daytime. So now instead of being restricted to private property or public tracks (where many accidents have taken place), now these idiots will be on unpaved roads (like the one in front of my house) wreaking havoc. The new law also includes that minors must be under the supervision of a licensed driver but there are no specific provisions of what that supervision is, and riders under 16 will have to attend a safety course.
You know the new laws are great and all but really who is going to obey them? I've seen adults with babies in their lap on these things, I've seen two small children riding them, I've seen adults with small children on them, I've seen kids doing wheelies on them. New laws don't change anything. Legislators think this will now take these idiots off the sides of the paved highways and keep them safe in the rural areas. No. The only thing it's going to do now is make it legal for these people to get themselves into more trouble.
State Representative Greg Evers is the one who proposed the change in the law. He says:
"I am dreadfully sorry if law enforcement has a problem with this, I want it to be safer for kids to enjoy the recreation of riding four-wheelers."
I'm not sure what the solution is to this situation. You have to have a license and a safety course to ride a motorcycle, I think you should have to have one for ATV's too. And I don't think anyone under 18 should be driving one. Not that 18 makes a person mature, I mean I've seen ignorant 18 year olds, but at least they are adults and become responsible for making the decision of what to do with their lives. The kids under 18 who have been injured and killed on these things are the direct responsibility of their parents. These machines are dangerous and parents who let their kids on them are asking for trouble.