Joe Askins, owner of Off Road Express has a showroom is full of ATV's and UTV's, and age and passenger restrictions are clearly marked on all of them.
8 year old Kaleigh Katulich was driving a 2010 Honda Big Red UTV, when she was killed over the weekend. That vehicle is made for adult use only. Askins says no one under the age of 16 should be driving a UTV made for adults, and no one under 12 should be inside, as a passenger.
Askins does have UTV's and ATV's made specifically for children in his showroom. The ATV's are made for one person, and the UTV's can only hold two. They're much smaller than the adult versions, and they weigh less, too. Child models also have enhanced safety features, like a wrist strap that stops the engine on an ATV if the driver falls off. They also don't go as fast.
Even with the safety features Askins says anyone operating an ATV or UTV, whether it's an adult, or child, should take a safety course, "it appears that you can handle one, but then it reacts differently in a different environment whether on a hillside or in mud, so it's important to know what the ATV is capable of."
Free safety courses are available. You can find out more about them by calling 800-887-2887, or going to www.atvsafety.org.