For Immediate Release: April 3, 2007
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
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
For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610