Officials urge child safety after two serious ATV crashes in two weeks


    Two crashes, in just 13 days.

    A 9-year-old Williston girl died after she was pinned underneath her ATV in late January.

    And on Sunday, deputies say a 15-year old girl was seriously injured after she was thrown from her ATV after she lost control on the Nature Coast State Trail.

    “Unlike a car, where your protected by, so to speak a cage around you, there’s no protection around you on an ATV,” says Art Forgey, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman.

    The consumer product safety commission says from 2014 to 2016, 60 people died while driving an ATV in Florida—giving the state the 5th highest fatality rate in the country.

    CBS 4 News looked into how ATV’s were regulated in Florida and found:

    The Department of Agriculture says to ride an ATV on public land, you must be over 16 years old to drive a standard sized ATV.

    If the driver is underage, they must take an off-highway safety course and carry their certificate with them.

    The law also says you need eye protection, over the ankle boots, and a safety helmet.

    “It’s a very dangerous price of equipment if it’s not used right,” says Forgey.

    One of the biggest issues is drivers using an ATV that’s too big for them.

    “Appropriate for your size, your frame, it’s not too big and it’s not too small, but that you are comfortable in,” says Forgey.

    And to always have someone watching you nearby.

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