ATV SAFETY CLASS A JOKE

(10/24/2005)

Dear Editor,

In your recent article about the Feds mandating new safety rules for ATV's, you stated that only 2% of youth have taken the safety class that was mandated here in West Virginia.

My son is one of those 2%. I took him in April to one of the classes and I sat through it with him. Unfortunately, I have to say the class was the biggest joke I have ever seen in my life.

It took 10 times longer to register the kids than it did to actually hold the class. All they did was watch a video and answer a few questions on a sheet of paper that had the answers on the bottom. The video had very basic, "See-Spot-Run" information on it, to say the least. Our son learned more in the first 30 seconds of instruction from my husband and I the first time he rode than he did in the 1-1/2 hours he sat in that class.

I suggest that if the State wants riders to be educated and hold mandatory classes in riding, they should do a better job with the classes. These ATV safety classes are a total and complete waste of taxpayer money and time.

I have seen so many adults riding on these things recklessly. This is exactly where the kids learn to ride. Maybe if the adults were a little more responsible in their riding habits, the kids would learn more by example. It's not any more the state's responsibility to teach kids about ATV safety than it is the school's responsibility to teach simple manners and respect.

It all begins at home.

Sincerely,

Linda A. Simmons