Kids & ATV’s; What You Need To Know
It's summer and people are already out in full force on ATV's. Just last night I saw my teenage neighbor ripping along the highway on his ATV heading to a friends place. Many Minnesotans have ATV's and they probably have let their kids ride around their cabin or property but how old do they have to be to drive, and what about younger children? Do they need a booster seat in a side-by-side?
According to the Minnesota State Patrol when riding an ATV, OHV, or motorcycle on public land or water, or on a public road right-of-way, a passenger under age 18 must:
• Wear an approved helmet.
• Wear a seat belt if provided by the manufacturer.
An approved helmet must meet federal law, which requires the helmet to display the symbol “DOT.” DOT is the manufacturer’s certification that the helmet conforms to the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. Standard bicycle helmets and hockey helmets do not meet legal requirements.
It is important to keep in mind the size of the child's head and neck, as well as the weight of the legal helmet. The weight of the helmet may be too heavy for the child’s head and neck to safely support, especially when being bounced around on the trail. Again, bike or hockey helmets do not meet the legal standards and would not provide the level of protection necessary.
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