July 21 2009.

With an unusually hot summer promised, the European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (EASI) has issued a timely alert to remind parents about safety training courses designed to teach children how to ride their ATVs safely.

EASI wants to be sure that parents of young riders appreciate that ATVs are not toys and that they can literally 'hold the key' to their children's safety by taking charge of the ignition key. In this way parents can decide where and when their children ride an ATV based on overseeing and monitoring their ability and judgment skills.

Active and direct parental supervision is vital to a child's safety when riding an ATV, which can also be referred to as a quad bike. Young riders under the age of 16 should be supervised at all times and parents should make sure that the children in their care only ride ATVs that are specifically manufactured for the appropriate age group as clearly stated on prominent labels on each ATV machine. Where in doubt at any stage, parents can ask their local EASI authorised dealer for advice about the most appropriate ATV for their child, as well as about recommended safety clothing and helmets.

Responsible use means taking a pro-active 'safety-first' approach to ATV riding at all times. Parents should set rules for bike use, discuss them with their children and even contact friends' parents to check whether ATVs may be available at a location or any event their child is attending.

The European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute publishes TEN Golden Rules of ATV Safety which are not only relevant to novice riders but can also act as a reminder to experienced riders, no matter their age.

1) Take an EASI ATV rider training course

2) Always wear an approved helmet and other protective gear

3) Read your machine's Owners Manual and familiarise yourself with the importance of all warning labels displayed on your ATV

4) Avoid paved surfaces

5) Never ride on public roads*

6) Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

7) Never carry a passenger

8) Ride an ATV that's right for your age and experience

9) Always supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys

10) Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed

*unless your machine is a quadricycle that has been specifically manufactured for this purpose and complies with the relevant type approval code for that specific model of quadricycle, and you hold the correct type of Driving Licence and Insurance.

Finally, there is no sure way to predict whether a child will be able to ride an ATV safely because not all children have the necessary strength, skill or judgment. To help parents make this important decision, EASI provides a free booklet called 'Parents, Youngsters and All-Terrain Vehicles' made available on request via EASI's website  

For more information please contact Stephanie Savill at the European ATV Safety Institute (EASI) tel: 01903 816286 or email  

About EASI  
EASI, the European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute, is a 'not for profit' organisation which is sponsored by the five leading ATV manufacturers Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha, supported by their authorised dealers. EASI provides specialist educational training courses including one called EASI Rider which is designed to improve rider skills and safety levels as well as raise awareness of the capabilities of the ATV they operate.

About EASI Rider ATV safety training courses
The basic EASI Rider course takes 4½ hours, normally costs £180 plus VAT and caters for ATV riders of all ages and levels of ability. Parents who buy a new or used ATV may be eligible for free or subsidised EASI Rider training and can find out about this from an authorised EASI dealer or by calling EASI on 01903 816286. The EASI Rider programme includes advice about pre-ride machine checks, the correct clothing & equipment and 15 practical lessons covering safe riding techniques.