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Summer helmet safety for riding motorcycles and ATVs

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Bonneville County Sheriff's Office wants to remind you to be safe when enjoying the nice weather.

This is the time of year when motorcycle and ATV activity starts to increase, especially in the backcountry areas. 

Before you ride, whether it’s on a roadway, trail or private property, the sheriff's office wants to remind you to take the time to plan for safety. 

While there are exceptions when riding on private property or agricultural uses, Idaho law requires those under 18 must wear a DOT certified helmet, and deputies recommend wearing a helmet no matter what age or skill level the rider may be. 

In addition to taking the time to plan for safety, riders should always make certain the motorcycle, ATV, or UTV is properly registered for where it’s being used and the person driving it is legal to do so.  Public roads, backcountry areas, trail systems in National Forests, all have varying requirements for registration and required equipment. Some trail systems have age restrictions, require adult supervision and safety classes, while others require drivers to have a valid Driver’s License, Insurance, Registration, signals and more.       

Knowing the restrictions of where you plan to ride is also essential, as deputies often encounter people riding in areas closed during particular seasons or on private property without permission. This particular time of year is when maintenance crews are out opening and repairing trails and roads in order to make them as safe as possible for travel.  When people travel into these areas that are still closed or being repaired, the damage costs taxpayers money in resources and time to make the area safe for travel. Deputies have been issuing citations to people in closed areas and have responded to multiple incidents where people were stuck in unstable areas of a road or trail.   

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to enjoy the outdoor recreation areas Bonneville County has to offer but can’t stress enough how important it is to do so safely and properly. There are numerous resources through the Idaho Parks and Recreation website to help you know how and where to register your Motorcycles, ATVs or UTVs, what equipment is required in specific areas, how to sign up for safety classes, and a breakdown of how registration fees help maintain the outdoor recreation trail systems.

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