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Youth OHV education in demand

| June 23, 2010 10:00 AM

Safety training for youth off highway vehicle (OHV) operators is voluntary now, but may be mandatory after the next legislative session. A bill (HB 706) didn't pass in the last Legislature, but is expected to be introduced again in 2011. What prompted the bill was a 2009 law allowing all OHV users, including unlicensed children, the ability to ride on non-local jurisdictional roads as long as they are supervised by a licensed adult. That bill was well-intentioned as it gave families the chance to recreate together, but the passage has drawn safety concerns from the Forest Service and law enforcement.

The local Parks and Recreation Department said there's been lots of demand for the youth safety classes. Some OHV users recently received a letter about the classes only to learn the classes had already taken place, but the department said more classes will be scheduled when a new training site is ready near the airport. Registration forms are at http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/recreation/ohveducation.aspx.

Fill one out, send it to the parks department and you'll be sent a manuel to study for a written test and contacted when space is available for an upcoming class. Adults are encouraged to take the class as well.

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