ATV Rider Safety training expands across the state

ATV Rider Safety Courses for youth will now be available across the state.
Jeremy Sheldon, ATV instructor at the Nebraska Safety Center, works with a young ATV rider. The Safety Center received a $19,755 grant to fund its Rural Youth ATV Operator Safety Training and expand the program across the state.

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – ATV Rider Safety Courses for youth will now be available across the state.

The Nebraska Safety Center at the University of Nebraska at Kearney received a $19,755 CHS Foundation grant to fund its Rural Youth ATV Operator Safety Training.

“People need to understand that ATVs are dangerous, especially for younger kids,” said Dennis Holtz, ag/transportation safety pillar manager. “There are too many things that can go wrong. Our safety training helps make parents and kids more aware of the dangers and teach kids how to safely ride an ATV.”

The program’s goal is to increase the number of youth riders who wear helmets and safety gear while driving ATVs and to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.

ATVTraining2A pilot program, which was developed after conducting a needs assessment in Nebraska, launched last summer in Kearney. Over 20 youths attended the safety courses. The Safety Center will now offer free classes in North Platte, Ogallala, McCook, Imperial, Broken Bow and Kearney.

“There is a fairly high rate of serious injuries due to ATVs and multiple deaths each year,” Holtz said. “It’s really important that we start educating smaller kids on ATV safety.”

Operator training will be given to youth ages 6-9 and ages 10-16.

Participants will receive instruction and hands-on training, including fundamentals of ATV safety, proper riding techniques and safety equipment use. Proper sized ATVs, helmets, goggles and other safety equipment will be provided if the participant doesn’t have their own.

“There’s just no other place that kids can get this type of training,” Holtz said.

Parents or guardians will be required to sign a permission form allowing their child to participate in the training. Parents must be present during training for all youth ages 6-9.

Classes will begin this spring. Participants will receive a $30 rebate to purchase a helmet after the training.

For more information, contact Holtz at 308.865.8562 or

The Nebraska Safety Center is part of the College of Business and Technology at UNK. The Nebraska Safety Center provides instruction in safety education, service through seminars and workshops, coordination of statewide programs, and research in safety education.
Some of the programs offered at the safety center include driver improvement courses, STOP (Safety Training Option Program), mine safety training, driver education classes, ATV operator safety training and CDL driver training.


Source: Dennis Holtz, 308.865.8562,
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,

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