New York Considering Raising Minimum ATV Riding Age

A proposed bill threatens young riders’ ability to enjoy four-wheeling.

Riding in NYS could become more difficult should the proposed bill be passed into law.Spencer Ballot

New York is considering raising the minimum age to operate an ATV, CNY News reports. The proposed legislation would bump the minimum age to ride from 10 to 14, and the age at which supervision is no longer required from 16 to 18. There is no information regarding whether the law is being seriously considered, and likewise, whether it goes so far as to consider the different ATV sizes or training available to riders.

NY State Senate Bill S680 cites accident injuries as the justification for raising the age limit. It notes that “between the years 2004 and 2014, 75 percent of the ATV fatalities were victims between the ages of 10 and 14,” and that over the same time period, “over 30,000 children 14 and under went to emergency rooms for AN-related injuries, including fractured bones, head and facial injuries.” It goes further to reference a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which revealed that “children are ‘not developmentally capable of operating these heavy, complex machines.’” Most concerning is that the AAP’s data shows more than 3,000 children lost their lives to accidents involving an ATV.

It is worth noting that in research released October 6, 2010, Johns Hopkins Medicine stated that only 30 percent of the ATV riders involved in its study wore helmets.

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