4-H Trains and Evaluates Young ATV Riders

Isabel and Boden Sayer, Brownsville, have taken the Oregon ATV Safety Youth Rider Endorsement Program.
Isabel and Boden Sayer, Brownsville, have taken the Oregon ATV Safety Youth Rider Endorsement Program.
OASYREP Instructors like Cathy Chrenka are located throughout the state. They are 4-H volunteers and Deputy Sheriffs.
OASYREP Instructors like Cathy Chrenka are located throughout the state. They are 4-H volunteers and Deputy Sheriffs.
Youth must pass equipment evaluation, mental riding exercises, pre-riding exercises, and physical riding exercises.
Youth must pass equipment evaluation, mental riding exercises, pre-riding exercises, and physical riding exercises.
To ride on public lands, youth successfully pass numerous tasks like quick stops, turning and obstacles.
To ride on public lands, youth successfully pass numerous tasks like quick stops, turning and obstacles.
By Mary Stewart, OSU Extension Service

All-Terrain Vehicles, ATVs, are fun to ride and useful for work, but they can also be dangerous if the operator doesn’t operate the ATV safely. Youth are learning the right way to ride safely through the Oregon ATV Safety Youth Rider Endorsement Program (OASYREP). 

According to Dr. David White, Oregon 4-H Youth Development Specialist who oversees the state’s outdoor education and recreation program, OASYREP provides youth ages 6-15 with the hands-on training, evaluation, and endorsement they need to ride safely and legally on public lands.

Youth under the age of 16 who want to ride ATVs on Oregon’s public lands, must pass an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) on-line ATV Safety course. Once completed, youth are then required to pass a hands-on training and evaluation to receive an endorsement. The 4-H program is one of a few organizations that provides both training and evaluation. For a complete list of locations and dates, visit http://oregonatvsafety.com/.  A fee is charged for the course.

Once both the course and evaluation are completed, the youth will receive a card they should keep with them when they ride on public lands.

“The training and evaluation sharpens and measures the physical and mental readiness of the youth,” said Robin Galloway, a 4-H Youth Development Faculty and certified ATV instructor. “Looking ahead, quick thinking and action prevents a rider from running into an oncoming bicycle or horse, or keeps them from landing in the ditch,” added Galloway.

During the evaluation, an instructor will check the fit of the rider to the vehicle, and ask riders to turn the vehicle on and off before sending them through a course of cones that tests their ability to make quick stops, turn, weave and handle obstacles.

Tenille Sayer, Sayer Farms – Brownsville, is a 4-H volunteer who has seen positive results from the ATV safety program through experiences with her two children – Isabel, 13 and Boden, 10. Sayer endorses the program because it: “eliminates those kids who are just put on a quad and taken out to public lands to ride.”

The training teaches youth to be self-sufficient. They learn the parts of the vehicle and simple maintenance such as changing the oil and spark plugs. “They learn to carry a tool kit so they don’t get stuck somewhere,” said Sayer. “We have hills on our farm and they need to go up and down the hills and know how their quad will react to the hill and how to position their bodies.”

ATVs include 4 Wheelers and Side by Sides. Three-wheelers are not considered safe to use. For more information on ATV Safety and other outdoor programs, visit Oregon.4h.oregonstate.edu/projects/outdoor

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