Hatfield-McCoy Taking ATV Safety Message Into the Schools
Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority (HMRRA) is launching an ATV safety initiative in southern WV elementary schools.
“With more and more people getting in accidents not wearing helmets we felt we needed to do something,” said HMRRA Chief Ranger Steve Simpkins. “The key is to start educating kids while they’re young, and before they develop bad habits like riding without a helmet and drinking while they ride. Getting our law enforcement out into the schools is the best way to reach the greatest amount of kids.
The trail system is currently reaching out to schools in their 9 county project area of Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Wayne, and Wyoming counties. Hatfield-McCoy teamed up with the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) to deliver the message in ways that are both fun and educational.
“We’ve sent all of our full-time rangers to the ASI training course, and they are all certified ATV safety instructors, and NOHVCC has supplied us with ATV safety coloring books and CD-ROMs,” Executive Director Jeffrey Lusk said. “It makes the topic a lot more interesting than just our rangers giving a speech. Hopefully these kids develop safety habits for life.”
The ATV Safety Institute is a not-for-profit agency that formed in 1988 to implement a national program of ATV safety education and awareness. ASI instructors teach ATV safety courses all over the country, and to people that have just purchased a new ATV, the class is often paid for by the machine’s manufacturer. NOHVCC is a publicly supported, education foundation organized for the purpose of developing and providing a wide spectrum of programs, materials, and information to individuals, clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible Off Highway Vehicle recreation.
“Even though we have a stellar safety record at the trail system, we see our state leading the nation in deaths per capita every year,” Lusk said. “As the premier off-road destination in the state we need to do our part to educate people about what they can do to prevent ATV related injuries and deaths.”
The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System is currently setting dates for visits in the 2006-07 school year. To find out more information on the ATV Safety Course, availability and questions about Hatfield-McCoy Trail’s rules and regulations, you can visit www.TrailsHeaven.com or call Steve Simpkins at 1-800-592-2217.