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Youth ATV training offered in September

The Woods and Wheels ATV Club of the lakes area will be offering an ATV Youth Safety Training course for youth 11-15 years of age on Sept. 20 at the Detroit Lake Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

A rider can take the course at 11 but the certificate does not take affect until they turn 12.

There will be registration on Sept. 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., before the monthly ATV club meeting, at the American Legion in Detroit Lakes. For those out of the area or cannot make it the night of registration can call 218-847-4868 to make arrangements for a student to sign up for the class.

The course consists of two parts: the classroom, which is held at the college and the practical driving course, which is held at the old city dump. The college and the city have allowed the club to use their facilities at no cost and the club and the youth appreciate their generosity.

The Woods and Wheels ATV club has 15 instructors, plus other club members assisting with the classes. The club runs one class in the spring and one class in the fall each year. The class is a one day session.

The first class was held in the spring of 2005 and the club has eight classes with 211 students trained in ATV safety. The club has also taught classes in other communities.

Because of training to other communities, the club has been looking for a used enclosed trailer that can be used to haul the props for practical part of the course to the different sites.

The students learn where they can and where they cannot ride for their age group and safe handling of an ATV. They have to know the parts of the machine and how to check out the machine each time before they ride.

The student learns what it takes to have a proper fit for a machine for their size. Other things discussed include required equipment, trail riding, (going up and down hills, going over objects, hand signals, going on side hills, traveling over rough ground, hazards to watch out for, and crossing public roads) and which machine you can ride according to your age.

Every person under the age of 16 must have taken the course in order to ride on public lands. Also any person that was born after July 1, 1987, must take the independent study course or take this course no matter their age is in order to ride on public lands or frozen waters.

For more information on riding pick up the Off-Highway Vehicles Regulations booklet put out by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. It is updated every year with the most current regulations and this is the manual that is used for the ATV Youth Safety training course.