Off-road users to be focus of DNR Safety Summit
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Off-road users to be focus of DNR Safety Summit 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
April 30, 2009
 
Off-road users to be focus of DNR Safety Summit
May 9th event at Straddleline ORV Park will feature free inspections of equipment and safety for off-road vehicles

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will present an ORV Safety Summit, a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday, May 9, at Straddleline ORV Park, located on State Route 8 between McCleary and Olympia.

The event is designed to give users of off-road vehicles (four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles ridden on trails) tips to ride safely and avoid damage to lands and natural resources. Authorities say most ORV-related fatalities could be avoided if users followed safety guidelines and took advantage of training classes.

Those attending the DNR Safety Summit will have opportunities for free:
• Rider skills testing
• Noise and equipment inspections of their ORVs
• Test rides of new ORVs
• Safety seminars
• Search and rescue tips
• Drawings for prizes donated by local ORV dealers and local businesses and public agencies

No advance registration is required for the event.

“Here’s an opportunity for new and experienced riders alike to learn and refresh their skills for a safe riding season this summer,” says Larry Raedel, DNR’s Chief of Law Enforcement Services.

Chief Raedel says the event is part of DNR’s commitment to teach the public about safety, enforce state regulations on public lands, and help ensure safe, enjoyable, and sustainable use on the state trust lands that are open to the public. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that among the 150,000 ORV-related injuries treated in emergency rooms each year nationally, about 27 percent are to children and teens under age 19. An additional 23,800 children and teens across the nation receive emergency room treatment each year for off-road motorcycle injuries.

The event will be hosted by Straddleline ORV Park in partnership with the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, which will hold a four-wheel drive exposition immediately following the DNR Safety Summit.

DNR enforces safety rules on state trust lands
Chief Raedel urges ORV riders to stay current on safety rules. Washington state law requires ORV users under age 13 to be supervised by a licensed driver age who is 18 years or older when operating an ORV on nonhighway roads designated for off-road vehicle use.

Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation takes place in the 2.2 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s general fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat, as well as to provide educational and recreational opportunities.

DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.

DNR is led by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark who is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889 and the first from Eastern Washington.

Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149; bob.redling@dnr.wa.gov  

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360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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