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Safety Is Priority One for ATV Safety Institute

By: Robert Janis (atvsource.com)

ATV riders approaching a hill on a desert trail
A group of ATV riders approaching a hill on a desert trail.

ASI RiderCourse student demonstrating proper body position
ATV Safety Institute (ASI) RiderCourse student demonstrating proper body position by shifting body weight while looking into the turn.

ASI RiderCourse student properly looking into the turn
ATV Safety Institute (ASI) RiderCourse student properly looking into the turn.

ASI RiderCourse curriculum
ATV Safety Institute (ASI) RiderCourse curriculum includes exercises covering starting and stopping, turning, negotiating hills, emergency stopping and swerving, and riding over obstacles.

Every organization has an agenda. In fact, most organizations have a number of agendas. There are only a few who are focused enough to concentrate on one to achieve the most good. One example of the latter is the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute. The raison d’être or reason to be for this organization is in its name--SAFETY.

The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute was founded in 1988 as a division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. Its purpose is to implement an expanded national program of all-terrain vehicle education and awareness.

The organization notes that more than 16 million Americans ride ATVs in a variety of ways. They are used for recreation, serve as a tool in the business of agriculture, and for a wide variety of other industries and are also used by the Armed Forces.

The ATV Safety Institute has various methods to get the word out about safety. It has a number of programs, and it offers publications and videos. Many of its programs are sponsored by members that include major manufacturers of ATVs such as Arctic Cat, BRP, CROSSRUNNER, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, Polaris, Suzuki, Tomberlin, and Yamaha.

Programs, Publications and Videos

One of the major programs of the group is the RiderCourse. Designed for people who buy new ATVs, the program is a hands-on course conducted by a licensed instructor. The RiderCourse is a half-day in length and includes hands-on activity that is meant to teach the rider basic riding skills. Activities include:

  • Performing basic safety techniques
  • Gradual and quick turns
  • Negotiating a hill
  • Emergency stopping and swerving
  • Riding over obstacles

An average of 200 classes is held every week across the country. Last year alone the RiderCourse trained 41,690 ATV riders. The total number of riders trained since the start of the course in 1989 is 780,678.

The Institute also uses a nationwide public awareness campaign to promote safety and responsible use of ATVs. The campaign includes:

  • A collection of 21 public service announcements for print and web use which address the issues of age and size recommendations, parental supervision, environmental responsibility, training, protective gear, and no passengers.
  • Tips and Practice Guide for All-Terrain Vehicle Riders, a booklet which answers riders’ questions about ATVs, and provides information on proper operation and use and assists riders in learning and respecting the capabilities of their ATVs.
  • Ride Safe, Ride Smart, a video that describes the safety elements of riding an ATV and reviews its many uses. The organization has distributed 9,271 copies of the video through Video Placement Worldwide, an international company that distributes videos to public and private schools. The Institute claims that more than 5 million people have viewed this video.
  • The Guide to Off-Highway Riding, which is a video primarily created for new riders but applicable to all riders. It covers elements of safe and responsible off-highway motorcycle and ATV riding.
  • Parents, Youngsters, and All-Terrain Vehicles, a booklet designed to help parents ascertain how ready their children are to ride an ATV.
  • ATV Hotline, which is a toll-free telephone number which can be called for safety and training information as well as age recommendations for ATVs. The hotline number is: (800) 887-2887.
  • ATV Rally, which is an interactive CD-ROM which has been distributed to more than 1.7 million children.
  • An annual letter-writing campaign to superintendents and principals of schools nationwide focused on the importance of ATV safety. Included is a letter to parents and an activity sheet for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh grade through twelfth grade. So far this program has reached more than 18 million superintendents, principals, parents, and students.

“The Tips & Practice Guide for ATV Riders” and “The Parents, Youngsters & All Terrain Vehicle” booklets were created from information compiled by the staff of the ATV Safety Institute from manufacturers, knowledgeable riders, and specific subject area references.

The programs are promoted through member companies of the ATV Safety Institute which offer free training nationwide to purchasers of new ATVs.

The Institute does a number of things to make the ATV RiderCourse available to as many students as possible. This includes a centralized enrollment service called “Enrollment Express” which accommodates purchasers of ATVs. It helps to route new ATV users into training programs.

Courtesy of ATV Source www.atvsource.com

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For the ATV RiderCourse nearest you, call toll free (800) 887-2887 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policies
The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI), a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA),
was formed in 1988 to implement an expanded national program of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety education and
awareness. The ASI is sponsored by
BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, KYMCO USA, Polaris, Suzuki, Textron Off Road, and Yamaha. For a list of non-member "Participating Companies," click here.
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