Safety remains top priority during ATV & UTV season

Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet and take a safety class before riding
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 8:48 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The start of ATV and UTV season is an exciting time for those who go ride. However, that excitement has turned some riders in the wrong direction.

“The big thing for us that we’ve seen is actually complaints on ATV’s not going where they’re supposed to be, sadly,” says Michael Van Offeren, Recreational Safety Deputy, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office. “There are a couple of townships that have yet to open up their roads to ATV traffic.”

No matter where you ride, it’s important to check on the condition of your vehicle, before more trouble awaits.

“A number of these machines have either been modified, or overtime, things break, and especially loud exhaust or malfunctioning exhaust that are extra loud, is something that we get quite a few complaints on,” says Jonathan Kaiser, Conservation Warden, DNR, Waupaca.

Wherever your four-wheeled journey takes you, it’s crucial to look out for you and your fellow riders.

“Please wear a helmet, it’s recommended that everyone wears a helmet,” said Deputy Van Offeren. “It’s required by law for anyone under 18 to wear a helmet. Even in a UTV where there is a roll cage.”

“Wearing a helmet is something that we always are going to strongly recommend,” said Warden Kaiser. “What we have found though data and, unfortunately, responses to accidents, is that helmet use can prevent serious injury, if not worse.”

Plus, don’t forget to click it.

“UTV’s, always wear your seatbelts and be mindful of the fact that these things are meant for off-road and on pavement they do not handle like a car,” says Kaiser.

Warden Kaiser and Deputy Van Offeren preach the importance of taking an ATV and UTV safety course. To learn how you can take a course, click here.

To view a map of the Marathon County trails, click here.