Initiative runs this week to encourage safe, responsible riding

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is partnering with the ATV Safety Institute to promote off-highway vehicle (OHV) education as part of ATV Safety Week. The annual initiative runs June 1-10 and serves as a reminder for all OHV enthusiasts — whether new to the hobby or veterans of the sport — to take a safety education course.

AZGFD provides a list of approved in-person and online courses on its website, and encourages everyone to take the time to learn about proper safety and riding protocols as well as any law changes.

“We like to say that trained operators are safe operators. It sounds like a commonsense statement but it’s true,” said David Rigo, acting OHV coordinator for AZGFD. “Investing the time into taking a safety education course will pay off tenfold when you’re out riding and encounter a question or unexpected situation.”

Wearing the proper safety gear is another key component of being prepared for a day out on a forest road or trail. Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet, but it’s a good practice for everyone to follow. AZGFD also strongly recommends that OHV operators and passengers wear a seatbelt at all times if their vehicle is equipped with them — buckle up for every trip, every time.

In addition, ride safely by following these practices:

  • Only carry the number of passengers recommended by the manufacturer for your vehicle. Often many accidents are the result of too many people riding a machine that was designed for fewer passengers.
  • Wear riding goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, riding gloves and over-the-ankle boots.
  • Never ride alone.
  • Be prepared and equipped with a map, first-aid kit and whistle, and have basic tools on hand.
  • Stay on designated trails.

For more information about OHV safety and places to ride in Arizona, visit