Keith Johnson, Deseret News
All-terrain vehicles riders cruise through recreation area in Moab in June 2006.

Riding safely and using common sense is the responsibility of all off-highway vehicle users, the Division of Utah State Parks and Recreation says. Riders should be properly trained and prepared.

The division urges parents to enroll children in its "Know Before You Go!" training course, which is required by Utah law.

By passing this course, drivers 8 through 16 may legally operate an OHV. Drivers 16 and older must have a valid driver's license or OHV education certificate. Children under age 8 cannot operate an OHV on public land.

Here are some guidelines for safe OHV riding:

• Always wear a safety-rated and properly fitted helmet, goggles, clothing covering arms and legs, and over-the-ankle boots.

• Check mechanical controls and safety devices on your machine before you ride to ensure proper operation.

• Do not take alcohol or drugs along for the ride.

• Ride your OHV only in areas designated for its use. The best way to protect your riding privilege is to stay on the trail.

• Do not carry passengers on single-person machines. However, never ride alone and always let someone know your itinerary.

Carry tools and survival gear in the event of changing weather conditions and mechanical failure.

• Respect closed areas and private property. Don't cut switchbacks or take shortcuts. Remember, areas with signs designating them as wilderness are closed to all motorized vehicles.

• OHVs should not to be used as "baby sitters" by parents at any time, especially in campgrounds or on neighborhood roads.

To register for classes or for information on OHV laws, call 801-538-7433 from within Salt Lake City, or 800-648-7433 from outside the area.