Safety officials are expecting a large number of ATV enthusiasts will be following trails in the North Country over the holiday weekend and they’re saying safety patrols will be watching for reckless behavior...
The riders are being attracted by the new 1,000-mile network called Ride the Wilds, part of an economic development effort for the North Country.
“I’m asking them to drive safe. To be out there, to think about what they are doing,” said Fish and Game Lieutenant Wayne Saunders. “Sober is huge.”
The key to the new “Ride The Wilds” ATV trails network in the North Country is allowing riders to use some roads to get into towns and reach food, fuel and lodging, thus boosting the region’s economy. But that’s part of a nationwide trend that has some safety researchers worried.
“At this point in the United States more ATV deaths are happening on roads than are happening off-road,” says Rachel Weintraub, a researcher with the Consumer Federation of America.
The plan to open some streets in Coos County to all-terrain vehicles as part of the “Ride the Wilds” network is being greeted with dismay by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, says Carl Purvis, an agency spokesman.
“It is much better to ride that ATV on terrain it was designed for as opposed to taking it onto a paved road,” Purvis said.
Purvis said ATVs were engineered for dirt and riders can have handling problems on pavement. They can also be struck by cars.