The Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise will launch the first of its free youth ATV trainings of the spring on April 2 at the North Platte Community College North Campus, 1101 Halligan Drive in North Platte.
"The need for quality rider safety training is becoming more of a necessity every year as we continue to see serious injuries attributed to ATVs," said Crystal Welch, program manager for the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise. "We are happy to be offering this very important training to our area youth."
There are two sessions to choose from: 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Classes will be divided by age group, 6-9 and 10-16. Six students from each age group will be allowed in each session.
The curriculum, developed by Central States Safety Driver Training, will consist of a combination of safety instruction and guided, hands-on ATV operation. Participants will practice turns, stops and terrain navigation.
Instruction topics will include ATV injury and fatality statistics, how ATV size can contribute to rollover injuries and fatalities, the dangers of carrying passengers and material on ATVs, risks of traveling on public roads and safety procedures and practices.
Those who complete the program successfully will receive a certificate that aligns with insurance company requirements.
ATVs in different sizes will be used during the trainings. Parents must stay for classes attended by children younger than 10.
Other requirements include:
- Closed-toe footwear (preferably over the ankle)
- Long, non-flare pants
- A long-sleeved shirt or jacket
- Approved eye protection (will be provided if a participant does not have any)
- A helmet (will be provided if a participant doesn't have one)
Those who are unable to attend the training in North Platte will have the option of taking it in several other locations. Those include:
- April 9, Custer County Fairgrounds, Broken Bow
- April 16, Nebraska Department of Roads, Ogallala
- April 23, Cherry County Fairgrounds, Valentine
- May 21, Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook
- June 8, Chase County Fairgrounds, Imperial
Space is limited in all the classes. People can register by calling (308) 535-3678.
The trainings are possible thanks to a more than $24,000 grant from the CHS Foundation, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The money is administered through the NPCC Foundation.