Iowans hoping for some summer recreation had better get some education in riding the popular four-wheelers known as A-T-V’s. The DNR’s David Downing, ATV program manager for the state, says the statistics show clearly the benefit of training on all-terrain vehicles.Of 91 accidents last year on ATV’s, including 8, personal-injury crashes and eight deaths, only one of the 91 had had safety training. Another problem is the noise of riders who take the vehicles onto private land or public roads. Downing says four off-road tracks for ATV riders have been built in the state by planners who found it brought many problems under control. He calls the off-road track at Waterloo a classic example of the benefits. Downing says there was lots of illegal riding, but now there’s a family park, picnic tables, restrooms and fenced riding areas, and he says it’s cut illegal riding to almost nothing. He says more and more people are riding the vehicles. Over three years he says there’s almost a 100-increase in the number of atv’s sold so there’s a need to make safe riding environments. The DNR’s used the fees collected on vehicle sales to help fund creation of riding trails. For info on training classes, which are required for riders sixteen and under, call Downing at the DNR at (515) 281-3449.
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