The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Sunshine Snippers go through ATV safety training


April 24, 2019

Recently the Sunshine Snipper 4H club went through ATV safety training. Montana Farmers Union Membership Director, Justin Loch gave the demonstration. Pictured above is Kasey Weaver on the simulator.

Montana Farmers' Union Membership Director, Justin Loch, was recently at Big Sandy and gave a presentation to the Sunshine Snippers 4-H Club about ATV Safety. Justin said, "Montana averages one ATV accident death per month. Last June there were three."

He brought with him an ATV simulator. The members took turns getting on it while he moved it up and down and to each side. While each child rode the simulator while he told them how they should react and ride the ATV. It was clearly evident that the size of the ATV made a huge difference on how safe each child was.

He explained what rules and dress code was necessary to drive one. Justin told the members, "Almost every piece of skin should be covered. Keep everything covered head to toe." Safety gear include full face helmet, gloves, over the ankle high boots, off road goggles, long pants, and long sleeve shirt. What happens he knows, especially on the farm, "Parents get real lax. But we all know the unexpected can happen. So, you just hop on without remembering the dangers."

There are 10 rules for ATV safety including always wear protective gear. "Always wear your helmet. Sometimes we hop on it because we aren't going very far. Just from the house to the barn." One person on the ATV at a time. "Everyone has had passengers, however most 4-wheelers are not designed to have any passengers." Ride the right size ATV. "This happens a lot. We get on your dad's or your grampa's for a ride. Never ride on main traffic roads. "Going down the highway, you might think it's the easiest road, but look at the tires. They aren't made for the highway, you can't maintain control on a highway." Take a ATV safety course. Tell someone where you are going. "Always, Always." Respect all trails and property. "Stay on only

the trails the land owners let you drive." Never use alcohol or drugs. "For you it's illegal, but slows your reaction time has well" Always obey these 10 rules.

Montana Farmers Union started this January with ATV safety training. They have been travelling around the state giving the safety class to 4-H groups, church groups, ag related organizations. "The more people we can buy into the safety. If we save just one live it's worth it."


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