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Did You Get An OHV Over The Holidays?

Here are six items all riders need (plus some safety tips) before hopping behind the steering wheel or handlebars.


January 1, 2016

Another year has passed and either you or someone you know somehow landed on Santa's "nice list" and may have received a new off-highway vehicle (OHV) during the holidays. But before jumping behind the steering wheel or handlebars to hit the trail, here's some equipment you'll need.

A helmet - Whether riding in a side-by-side utility-type vehicle (UTV), all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or dirt bike, all riders younger than18 years old are legally required to wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Helmets are strongly recommended for all riders older than 18.

Eye protection, such as riding goggles, is legally required for all riders if the OHV is not equipped with a windshield.

Riding gloves should be worn at all times to protect your hands while riding and enhance your grip while driving.

Wear proper clothing, including a long-sleeve shirt, pants and over-the-ankle boots.

Register your OHV and purchase an OHV Decal. All vehicles designed primarily for travel on unimproved terrain and weighing less than 1,800 pounds are required to have a $25 OHV Decal to operate on public and state lands. License plates and decals are available at any Arizona Motor Vehicle Division location or at

Take a safety course. Safety courses teach new and veteran riders the techniques needed to safely operate and ride an OHV, including the importance of shifting their weight, maintaining control of the machine, evasive breaking and maneuvers. For information on where to take a course or to take one online, visit

Always remember to supervise children under 16 years old and check to ensure your child is riding an age-appropriate vehicle. Machines may be too large and powerful for a child to safely operate. Parents are ultimately responsible for their children's safety.

Riders should only carry the number of passengers for which the machine is designed. One of the biggest causes of OHV-related injuries is riding with more than the recommended number of passengers. Proper riding techniques require operators to shift their weight and change position to keep control of the machine. Carrying a passenger can make riding difficult and change how the vehicle responds.

For additional OHV safety information, visit


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