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Utah is in the midst of yet another year of deadly and maiming accidents involving All Terrain Vehicles.
Since spring when the weather warmed, at least a half-dozen men, women and children have lost their lives, and more people than that have sustained critical injuries while riding ATV's. Most notable among them, of course, was former Utah Congressman Bill Orton, whose well-publicized accident in April claimed his life at the age of 60. Each year the number of accidents seems to be increasing.
So what to make of it?
ATV's can be extremely dangerous, particularly when rules aren't followed, basic safety measures aren't taken, and carelessness, even recklessness becomes part of the adventure. In too many instances, people jump on the machines without being adequately trained to operate them. And common sense is somehow abandoned with the exhilarating rev of the engine.
It shouldn't be surprising that accident numbers are increasing. More people than ever buy them and ride them. In fact, ATV registrations are up about 40-percent in the last few years.
There is always a clamor for more regulations. Indeed, stricter rules regarding young drivers should be seriously considered. But that won't necessarily solve the problem. What is needed is safer, saner use by everyone who rides ATV's.