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Turnout for OHV class was poor

By Staff | Aug 7, 2009

The Rugby Police Department arranged for the North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation to conduct an Off-Highway Vehicle safety certification course in Rugby late last month for youngsters who are riding or plan to ride OHVs.

The class, which did include a $20 registration fee, was advertised for several weeks and scheduled for a weekday evening to allow more to attend. Unfortunately, just a few youngsters showed up, and that was disappointing, since there are a good number of youth in the area who ride those vehicles.

There have been a number of accidents involving OHVs and young riders, and the course was established by N.D. Parks and Recreation to educate teens on the safe and proper way to handle these machines.

The course also enabled riders between the ages of 12 to 16 to get safety certification to be allowed, under law, to operate OHVs off private property.

The police department has received a number of complaints about OHVs in the city – reports of them going at high rates of speed down streets, shooting out of alleys with little warning to pedestrians and approaching traffic, and riders not wearing helmets and other safety attire.

Of course, not all of these complaints involved teen riders, but a fair share of them did. Police Chief Luis Coca said the department has been fairly tolerable to this point but plans to step up enforcement concerning OHVs.

The vehicles are allowed to be driven in town, provided they follow posted speed limits and other rules of the road, and riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.

The point of emphasis is safety, ensuring those who operate OHVs do so in a safe and responsible manner.

The police department should be commended for making arrangements for the OHV safety course to be offered locally. However, is up to the public to take advantage of it.

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