The 4-H Youth Development Program, through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, offers children and parents the opportunity to learn about ATV safety. This is made possible by a grant from the National 4-H Council as part of the 4-H ATV Safety Grant Program. The program is a collaboration among local 4-H groups, the National 4-H Youth Development Program, and the ATV Safety Institute (ASI).
The goal of the 4-H ATV Safety Program is youth development. Participation in ATV Safety courses gives young people and adults the opportunity to learn safe and responsible operation of ATV machines. Not only does the training focus on the rider/operator, but it also focuses on the environment and allows participants the opportunity to make sound decisions.
The 4-H ATV Safety Institute is a national program with several thousand young people and adults participating in ATV Safety training annually. In Mississippi, 4-H is offering ATV Safety courses all across the state so that individuals have an opportunity to learn how to safely operate ATVs and have fun in the process. MSU Extension currently has sixteen ASI-certified 4-H instructors. With continued support from ASI, National 4-H Council, and other partners, more instructors will be secured so we can reach more children and adults through the ATV Safety program.
The hands-on, half-day ATV Safety RiderCourse is a class conducted by licensed ATV Safety Instructors. The course offers students an opportunity to increase their safety knowledge and to practice basic riding skills in a controlled environment. The RiderCourse includes pre-ride inspection, starting and stopping, quick turns, hill riding, emergency maneuvers, and riding over obstacles. You’ll also learn about protective gear, local regulations, places to ride, and environmental concerns.
Ten Key Points to Consider about ATV Safety
- Take a course, of course
- Age matters
- Wear a helmet
- Ride on unpaved trails
- Ride without passengers
- Be a control freak
- Ride with a clear head
- Know the terrain
- Know the rules!
- Ride the right-size machine
A recent grant award is helping provide all-terrain vehicle safety training to Mississippi 4-H’ers. The Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H ATV Safety Program recently received $10,000 from Polaris through the company’s T.R.A.I.L.S. grant program. The funds purchased two youth sized Polaris ATVs and safety equipment. T.R.A.I.L.S. is an acronym for trail development, responsible riding, access, initiatives, lobbying and safety.
All-terrain vehicles are commonly used in Mississippi for entertainment and work, but driving them dangerously is a frequent cause of injuries and death.