Recreational Off-Highway Safety Rules

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Riding Safety

Daily commuters will convert to recreational off-highway vehicle enthusiasts this Labor Day weekend as American drivers turn off of the pavement to enjoy the outdoors.

ROHVA wants all drivers to act responsibly and follow the ROV Safety Rules, to keep themselves and their passengers as safe as possible.

“Labor Day weekend is considered by many as the heart of the off-road season, and thousands of enthusiasts across the country will operate their ROVs on all types of terrain,” said Paul Vitrano, executive vice president of the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

“We encourage all drivers to enjoy their ROVs while following our suggested safety rules and environment preservation tips, which can be found by visiting us online at”

A recent study of ROV crashes revealed at least one risky behavior, warned against in operator manuals, was present in 98 percent of crashes.

These warned-against behaviors include doing stunts, riding at excessive speeds, riding on paved roads, using alcohol or drugs while driving, improper seating of passengers, failing to wear a helmet and failing to wear a seat belt.

The study also found that 23 percent of crashes involved drivers under the recommended age. ROHVA recommends that anyone under the age of 16 or without a driver’s license should not operate an ROV.

The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association urges ROV enthusiasts to follow the ROV Safety Rules this Labor Day weekend to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and everyone else.

1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, use the seat belts, and keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.

2. Never drive on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law. ROVs are designed to be operated off-highway.

3. Drive only in designated areas, at a safe speed, and use care when turning and crossing slopes.

4. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

5. Never drive an ROV unless you’re 16 or older or have a driver’s license. ROVs are not toys.

6. Never carry more passengers than the ROV is designed for, and never allow a passenger who is too small to sit in a passenger seat to ride in the ROV.

7. Read and follow the operator’s manual and warning labels.

Sometimes referred to as side-by-sides or utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), ROVs are motorized off-road vehicles designed to travel on four or more non-highway tires, with a steering wheel, non-straddle seating, seat belts, an occupant-protective structure, and engine displacement up to 1,000cc.

Current models are designed with seats for a driver and one or more passengers. ROVs are used for a variety of outdoor recreational activities as well as many work applications.