Earlier this year, the Massachusetts General Assembly voted to raise the minimum age of All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riders to 14 years of age. The minimum age had been 10 years with adult supervision on a parent’s land for those between 10 and 12 or 12-14 for those supervised by an adult over 18. Safety advocates and trauma surgeons urged legislators to raise the minimum rider age and prevent ATV accidents.
The state Senate passed similar legislation in January but included a provision for younger riders in a sanctioned with adult supervision. Before the bill becomes a law, Massachusetts lawmakers must find compromise language.
According to ATVSafety.gov, there were 17 reported deaths in Massachusetts from ATV accidents for children under 16 between 1982 and 2005. The total reported ATV deaths in Massachusetts during that same time period was 66. All ATV riders are required to wear a helmet.