KSP Highway Safety Branch News Release

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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
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Ag Department, State Police Join Forces To Teach ATV Safety Across Kentucky

Date of News Release: 11/30/07

An image of Dale Dobson, right, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's farm and home safety program coordinator, explains to Kentucky State Police Trooper Dwaine Barnett of the Columbia post the ATV safety course the KDA set up at KSP headquarters in Frankfort. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo), click here to enlarge (FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Kentucky Department of Agriculture staff on Thursday trained Kentucky State Police troopers on an all-terrain vehicle safety course designed to stem the tide of ATV deaths and injuries in the Commonwealth.

The KSP assigned 18 troopers to take the four-hour training at state police headquarters in Frankfort. One trooper was selected from each KSP post to learn to teach ATV riders in their respective areas how to ride safely and reduce the risk of an accident. Dale Dobson, the KDA's Farm and Home Safety Program Coordinator, conducted the program.

An image of Kentucky State Police Troopers Chip Perry, left, of the Campbellsville post and Dwaine Barnett of the Columbia post put on safety goggles in preparation for their run through the ATV safety course. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo), click here to enlarge "Kentucky led the nation in ATV deaths between 2002 and 2005," Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said. "That simply is not acceptable. That's why I'm pleased to work with the Kentucky State Police to spread the word that you can ride an ATV safely and still have fun. That's also why I will ask the General Assembly to appropriate $250,000 for the Department to take our ATV safety course statewide."

KSP Commissioner Jack Adams said state police look forward to working with Commissioner Richie Farmer and his Department to reduce ATV fatalities in Kentucky.

"Youth under the age of 16 account for one-third of the ATV fatalities in our state," Commissioner Adams said. "These are senseless tragedies that can be avoided through the implementation of an effective ATV Safety Program. Kentucky State Police is committed to this partnership to bring the importance of ATV Safety to the forefront."

Even though ATVs are off-road vehicles, law enforcement officials have received increased complaints about ATVs on Kentucky roadways.

Captain Tim Lucas, Commander of the Highway Safety Branch, contacted the Department of Agriculture about its ATV training course for KSP troopers.

"Once an ATV travels on to a roadway, it becomes an enforcement issue. We have troopers in eastern and western Kentucky who have to deal with this frequently," said Lucas.

"We feel our time can be used proactively by addressing this issue with a training program that is proven and effective. Our goal is to have troopers trained to administer the ATV Safety Program and take it back to their respective post areas."

Twenty-four people have died in ATV-related accidents since Jan. 1, the state police reported. Of those fatalities, 20 victims were not wearing helmets or protective gear. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said 136,700 people nationwide were injured while riding ATVs last year.

For more information about ATV Safety and Training please contact the Department of Agriculture at (502) 564-4696 or Kentucky State Police at 502-695-6353.

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