The Business and Community Education department at Mid-Plains Community College will take its Free Youth ATV Training to the Cherry County Fairgrounds in Valentine on April 22.
There will be additional trainings in Broken Bow, Ogallala, Thedford, Benkelman, McCook and Imperial.
"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, Business and Community Education coordinator. "We are happy to offer this very important training to our area youth."
There will be two sessions to choose from at each training: 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 of children younger than 10 must stay for their child's class.
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 unable to attend the training in Valentine will have the option of taking it at the following times and locations:
- April 29 - Custer County Fairgrounds, Broken Bow
- May 20 - Nebraska Department of Roads, Ogallala
- May 23 – Thomas County Fairgrounds, Thedford
- June 14 – Dundy County Fairgrounds, Benkelman
- June 15 - Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook
- June 21 - Chase County Fairgrounds, Imperial
Space is limited in all classes. Pre-registration is required by calling (308) 535-3678.
The trainings are possible thanks to a grant from the CHS Foundation, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The money is administered through the North Platte Community College Foundation.