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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: April 3, 2007

Senator Andrew Rice
Senator Andrew Rice

Senate Committee Passes Measure to Require ATV Helmets for Children on Public Land

The Senate Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security voted on Tuesday in favor of a measure intended to curb the number of traumatic all-terrain vehicle (ATV) injuries in Oklahoma. House Bill 1686 would require children under the age of 18 to wear crash helmets while operating or riding on an ATV on public land.

Senate author Andrew Rice said Oklahoma currently has no safety requirements for ATV riders, other than that they are not allowed to operate ATV’s on paved roads.

“Any time a person loses their life or suffers traumatic injuries in an accident, it is a tragedy,” said Rice, D-Oklahoma City. “Six children died last year in ATV accidents. We can work to reduce that number by passing this legislation into law and emphasizing ATV safety in Oklahoma.”

The bill does not require the use of helmets for individuals above the age of 18, or for ATV riders of any age on private property. Failure to comply with the new law would result in a $25 fine, and could be enforced by any police officer or park ranger.

Rice said the legislation was inspired by the growing number of ATV accidents involving children. According to the State Department of Health, an estimated 41 percent of all ATV injuries in the past four years were suffered by persons under the age of 18.

“Hopefully, this legislation will encourage parents and families to monitor ATV use more closely,” Rice said. “ATV’s are often heavy and pose serious danger when they crash or roll over. This is common sense legislation to encourage safe use and to protect children from traumatic injuries.”

The bill was amended to include a provision that any money collected through citations be deposited in the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department Revolving Fund, to be credited to the park or recreation area where the citation was issued.

The bill now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610

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