With child deaths on all-terrain vehicles on the rise in Georgia, lawmakers are trying to find ways to help prevent them from happening at all. A bill has been introduced that will change the rules for those who operate ATV's.
Five children were killed on all-terrain vehicles in Georgia last fall all between the ages of 10 and 13. Lawmakers say requiring license plates for the vehicle will ban children from riding illegally on public property.
"I think it's ridiculous to license the vehicle. Putting tags on off road vehicles just will not work they are totally confused about what they are trying to do," says Rusty Sampson.
The bill puts ATV's in the same category as motorcycles, allowing those 16 and up to get behind the wheel only with a safety helmet.
ATV dealers say the bill is total contradiction. These vehicles already come with warnings restricting those under 16 years of age, also riding with multiple passengers and driving on the highway.
"I don't think they should be allowed on roads at anytime. I think they need to come up with a plan for operators due to how dangerous they are, you see a lot of young kids on them," says Ronald Sellers.
Sampson says the bill will only create more problems for kids over 16 driving ATV's on highways. He says it’s parents that need to take on more responsibility.
"Buy a helmet, if you're going to let a child ride ATVs buy a helmet you make them wear them when they ride a bicycle," says Rusty.
ATV dealers do adhere to strict guidelines when selling the vehicles, including informing buyers about safety precautions and not selling to those under 16.
All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) Safety
Proper Riding Posture
Recommended Sizes for Age
Source: www.cpsc.gov (Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site) has contributed to this report.