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PRO-CON: Should ATV rules be tightened?

By Sonny Long
Dec. 2, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.
Updated Dec. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.


The following is a summary of Texas all-terrain vehicle laws. They do not apply to ATV use on private property.

• Minimum Age - Unless riders are supervised, the minimum age to operate an ATV in Texas is 14.

• Safety Education Certification - Riders on public lands in Texas must have a safety certificate unless they are supervised by an adult who has a certificate.

• Helmet and Eye Protection - Eye protection and helmets are required on public lands.

• Passenger Prohibitions - ATV operators on public lands may carry a passenger only if the vehicle is designed to carry more than one occupant.

The death of 12-year-old Brittany Dawn Adkinson in an all-terrain vehicle accident Nov. 25 has sparked discussion about the safety of ATVs when operated by children.

The crash, during which a 6-year-old was operating the adult-size ATV and injured Brittany's 9-year-old brother who was also on the vehicle, happened on private property.

Under Texas law, ATV operators younger than 14 years of age must be under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian. Helmets and eye protection are also required when operated on public lands.

But what about on private property?

Should age restrictions and other requirements for operating an ATV also be enforced there?

Safety advocates, law enforcement officials, health professionals and others offer their thoughts on the topic.

Related stories:

PRO: Rules should extend to private property, click HERE

CON: Enforcement infringes on landowner's rights click HERE



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