ST. GEORGE — Whether you’re off-roading near Sand Hollow Reservoir or tearing up some sand at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park this Labor Day weekend, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is encouraging riders to remember how to keep safe.
Cox released a public service announcement about off-roading safety earlier this month while driving an off-highway vehicle with his family. His message was that nobody is invincible while off-roading, but with the right safety precautions, the risk of danger goes down.
See PSA in media player above
“This time of year, my family and I – we love to ride,” Cox said in the video. “Unfortunately, we’ve had too many fatalities this year.”
There have been 12 reported fatalities in Utah from off-roading injuries in 2018, according to a press release from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. On average, there are 14 each year.
“More adults are injured in OHV-related accidents than children; as such, we are encouraging adults to set an example by wearing protective helmets and remaining aware of their surroundings,” officials wrote in the press release.
About 57 percent of Utah riders surveyed reported they frequently wear helmets when riding their OHV, according to the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. When riders are injured and brought to the hospital, 24 percent were wearing protective devices.
“While safety equipment is critical, it’s not enough,” Cox said. “Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and never ride beyond your capabilities.”
OHV riders between the ages of 8 and 15 are also required to complete an education course before being allowed to ride on public lands, roads or trails. This course is $30 and is available online.
As part of the push to encourage OHV driver safety, Cox also teamed up with X Games champion Travis Whitlock at a press conference Aug. 20. Whitlock, who won a gold medal during January’s Winter X Games Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb event, shared stories about the times helmets saved his life from crashes that could have been fatal.
For more information on off-roading safety, visit the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation website
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