MADISON (WKOW) — Driving ATVs and UTVs on trails is a popular pastime for Wisconsin residents, but the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says people often take unnecessary risks while out riding.
DNR conservation wardens partnered with county sheriffs’ deputies for the ATV/UTV Think Smart Before You Start campaign, an initiative mean to curb risky driving behavior.
Over the course of the three-day campaign in July, over 1,000 miles of ATV/UTV trails were patrolled. Though there weren’t any fatal crashes over that period, officials saw a number of violations.
The DNR said the most common violations were riders under the age of 18 not wearing helmets properly or not wearing one at all. Whether it’s required by law or not, the DNR recommends everyone to wear a helmet while out riding.
The DNR is reminding riders of the following rules:
- All ATV/UTV drivers and passengers under the age of 18 must be wearing a DOT-standard ATV or motorcycle helmet with the chin strap properly fastened.
- Bicycle helmets do not meet this requirement.
- All UTV passengers must have their seatbelts fastened at all times.
If a ATV/UTV operator ever crashes, Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in the crash to report the incident to law enforcement officials as soon as possible. A written report must also be submitted to the DNR within 10 days of the incident.
You can find more information on ATV and UTV recreation in Wisconsin on the DNR’s ATV/UTV riding in Wisconsin webpage. There are also a number of UTV/ATV safety education classes is available on the DNR Safety Education webpage.
You can also review ATV/UTV laws online.