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MOTORIZED SPORTS SAFETY
|| Youth Safety & Training ||
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"What a day for a ride," you think to
yourself. What you should be thinking, though, is "Is my ride ready
for the day?" ~~ Got three minutes? First do a check for the
following to insure your next ride is truly a great ride:
- Tires and wheels ~~ Since these are where you and the
road meet, they're probably the most important things to look
over. A problem can affect handling—sometimes severely.
Are your rims free of dings? Are your spokes tight and
straight? Check pressures in both tires. Since most
manufacturers specify pressures for cold tires, this is the
only accurate way to check them, as they heat up quickly on
the road, raising the pressure. Consult your owner's manual
or call your tire manufacturer's hotline for the proper
pressures for your particular bike.
If you own multiple bikes, it may be difficult to remember
all those different tire specs. And since this is one of those
critical things you should check often, you may want to make a
small card—like our list—with each tire's recommended pressure,
then hang it on your garage wall, or anywhere that's handy.
While you're down there checking the tires, make sure you've
got plenty of tread. You should have more than 1/16 of an inch,
about the distance between Lincoln's head and the top of a penny.
Remove foreign objects that may have lodged in the treads, and
make sure there aren't any cuts in the tire. A scuff is nothing
to be worried about, but if it's a deep scratch, you might want
to have it checked.
- Controls and Cables ~~ A snapped throttle or clutch cable
can leave you on the side of the road, so check 'em. Operate
anything connected to a cable and make sure that levers and
cables feel smooth and don't bind. Apply the front brake and push
the bike forward. The brake should feel firm, and the front wheel
should not move. Check the rear brake in the same fashion.
- Lights ~~ Seeing and being seen are two great ways to avoid
unwanted incidents on the road, so making sure your lights work is
Start by turning on your ignition. Are the headlight's high
beam and low beam working? Does the taillight come on? Does the
brake light come on when you depress the brake pedal and lever?
Check left and right turn signals, front and rear. Remember that
the cause of a malfunction here could be a relay or bulb. Lastly,
don't forget to check your horn.
- Oil and fuel ~~ Running out of gas is a bummer, but since
many motorcycles don't have gas gauges, it's a very real possibility.
Check the gas level in the tank, and be sure your fuel petcock isn't
on "reserve," which could leave you with a nasty surprise if you roll
to a stop thinking you've still got gas in reserve. And don't forget
to reset the tripmeter every time you fill up.
Running out of gas can be inconvenient, but running out of oil
can turn your bike into an inert display of public art. Even some new
bikes can use enough oil to be down a quart between oil changes, so
check it before every ride.
- Chassis ~~ Though an improperly adjusted suspension may not
seem critical, imagine your surprise as your bike behaves differently
in the middle of a curve because you forgot to reset it after picking
up your friend last night.
Sit on the bike and rock it, making sure that everything moves
smoothly and relatively slowly. If the front or rear end behaves like
a pogo stick, a trip to your trusty mechanic should be in your
If you have an adjustable suspension, remember to read your
owner's manual and adjust it properly for the load you'll be carrying
and the type of riding you'll be doing.
- Kickstand and centerstand ~~ The kickstand is a handy little
item—it's what keeps your motorcycle off the ground. Make sure it's
not cracked or bent. Check the spring or springs. Are they in place,
and do they have enough tension to keep the kickstand safely up?
Don't forget to look at the engine cut-out switch or pad, if so
If everything's in place
and operating properly you're done, and you're good to go. Enjoy the
ATV SAFETY & TRAINING ~~
ATV riding can be a risky sport. Before you ride, learn how to
properly use all the mechanical controls and safety devices of your
vehicle. Read your owner's manual. Most importantly, take a safety
course before riding.
- Wear a helmet and eye protection at all times and other protective
clothing suitable to the environment.
- Do not carry passengers on your ATV.
- Do not let young or inexperienced riders operate ATVs without
training and supervision.
- Do not use alcohol or other drugs when you ride.
- Learn proper riding skills from an instructor or qualified rider
and practice such skills before riding.
- Always maintain a safe distance between riders. Tailgating can
lead to collisions and injuries.
- Ride with others and let someone know where you are riding.
Never ride alone.
- Obey the laws.
- Stay on trails designated for ATVs.
- Be informed of local weather conditions and dress and equip
- Know the area you are riding in. Be aware of its potential
- Always ride at a safe and responsible speed. Know your abilities
and don't exceed those levels.
- Make sure your equipment is in top working order; check before
- Carry a map of the trail or area you intend to travel.
- Use common sense.
If you are involved in an accident that results
in the injury or death of any person, or property damages to the
estimated amount of $100 or more, you must report the matter in
writing within seven days to the Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, PO Box 8552, Harrisburg, PA
17105. It is a violation of the Snowmobile/ATV Law not to report
If involved in an accident, you must stop and give your name
and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle and
its registration number to the other person(s) involved in the
accident or to a police officer.
Accident forms are available upon request from the Snowmobile/ATV
Section, Bureau of Forestry, Bureau of State Parks and State Police
You can be held liable for injuries or death or damage to property
resulting from the negligent use of your vehicle.
Where to get training:
Inexperienced riders are much more likely to be involved in serious
accidents. Always read your vehicle's owner's manual and all warning
labels. DCNR oversees a training and safety program for ATV riding. It
is recommended that all new users of ATVs take an approved safety
course before riding their vehicles. Those successfully completing an
approved course will be provided a safety certificate.
DCNR authorizes the training of safety instructors. For more
information on a safety instructor near you, call DCNR's Bureau of
Forestry at (717) 783-7941.
DCNR has approved the safety course offered by the ATV Safety
Institute (ASI), a nonprofit division of the Specialty Vehicle
Institute of America (SVIA) formed in 1988 to implement an expanded
national program of ATV safety education and awareness. ASI's primary
goal is to promote the safe and responsible use of ATVs, thereby
reducing accidents and injuries that may result from improper ATV
operation by the rider. For more information call the ATV Safety
Institute at 1-800-887-2887.
YOUTH SAFETY & TRAINING: Each
year, hundreds of youth are involved in ATV accidents, some resulting in
While riding these vehicles is fun, it also can
be very dangerous. Because of a child's leg and arm length, hand size,
and strength, it is often difficult for children to properly control
an adult-sized vehicle. Children driving ATVs should always be under
the direct supervision of a responsible adult.
No child under the
age of 10 is allowed to operate an ATV on public lands.
Keep in mind:
- Children often emulate parental behavior; set good examples.
- Children often underestimate the danger and risk because of inexperience.
- Children often overestimate their skill level.
- It is mandatory that all youth ages 10-15 take an approved ATV training course if they are planning to use their vehicle off of their parent's or guardian's property.
Youth Training: For information on youth training, call DCNR's
Bureau of Forestry at (717) 783-7941, or the ATV Safety Institute at
(Click on images for more infomaton)
POISON IVY ~ Safety
Click on image for more information
Poison ivy is found throughout the State, primarily on drier sites
often in association with oak and sometimes near the edge of fields
of along fence rows. It has 3 waxy dark green leaflets that are
lighter and more fuzzy on the underside. It grows as a woody shrub
or vine that climbs up trees. Poison ivy produces a white berry that
persists from fall through the winter. ~~ message from the U.S.
Dept of Agriculture.
Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!!
HOGWEED ~ Safety
Click on either image for additional
The plants thrive in many habitats but do particularly well
where the soil has been disturbed, such as on wasteground or on
riverbanks, where erosion combined with a good supply of groundwater
provide ideal conditions. The plant, a member of the cow parsnip
(Apiaceae) family which includes the humble carrot, has a
base of large foliage surrounding the main stem which can grow to
a height of 15 feet (5 meters). The small white flowers and seed
pods radiate out from the top of the main stem and form a distinctive
white canopy. This is similar to, but much larger than, the flowering
heads found on the Common Hogweed.
The growing season starts in late March, with full height and
flowering being reached in late June and July. It is at this time
that the plants are at their most impressive, and dangerous...
The sap from the leaves and particularly the stem is highly toxic
and contact with the skin can lead to severe scars. Contact with the
eyes can lead to temporary or, in some cases, permanent blindness.
The sap renders skin photo-sensitive which means that exposure to
sunlight following contact causes blisters and burns. If you do come
into contact with the plant, and especially the sap, you are advised
to wash the affected areas immediately, keep them out of direct
sunlight and seek medical advice.
SNAKE ADVISORY ~ Dangers in the Forest and on
Two poisonous snakes are
known to occur in our State Forests although neither is common. These
include the northern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. Anyone who
is bitten by a poisonous snake should seek prompt medical attention.
One of the most distinguishing
features of poisonous snakes (pit vipers) is the diamond-shaped head
that is well defined from the neck. These poisonous snakes have fangs,
and elliptical pupils (as opposed to round pupils in nonpoisonous
WATCH OUT for Ticks and BE AWARE of Lyme Disease
~~ Before venturing out and enjoying the great
outdoors, make sure you take some precautions against becoming
infected with Lyme disease, a disease transmitted from the bite of
an infected tick. The third week of July is designated Lyme Disease
Awareness Week but it's always good to take precautions to prevent
Be aware of your surroundings and RIDE SAFE!!!