Staying safe while riding the trails this Memorial Day weekend

ATV's at Pocahontas Trail Head
ATV's at Pocahontas Trail Head(WVVA News)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:39 PM EDT
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TWO VIRGINIAS (WVVA) - Trail riders from across the nation will be looking to have a good time over the long weekend. But the good times could be marred if ATV riders put the brakes on safety and hit the gas on risky behaviors while riding. Experts say safety starts with the basics like wearing a helmet and eye protection.

“Pay attention to your surroundings. If something were to happen find a trail marker to let us know to find you faster. If you’re on the road riding. Pay attention to the traffic laws like you would with a car. For the motorists, pay attention there will be a lot of ATV’s out this weekend riding,” said Tazewell County Trail Rescue Team Leader, Danny Evans.

Evans’ trail rescue team has specialized electronic mapping devices programmed with all trail locations on them, making it easier to find riders who are in trouble on the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System. The team works closely with local rescue squads and DNR officers to ensure riders don’t cross the line when it comes following the law.

“Those rules and they are rules and they are criminal misdemeanors if you don’t follow them. That’s what makes it such a safe place to ride. We have a whole group of law enforcement officers. We also have all of our vendors out there, you’re signing a release that gives you those rules and there’s rules as you go into the trail system,” said Hatfield-McCoy Trail Systems Executive Director, Jeffrey Lusk.

Riders on the Pocahontas Trail Head we spoke with say they take safety seriously.

“Well we carry the helmets with us, we like to wear the safety glasses, sunglasses during the day. Seat belts, some of us use the harnesses. Extra cages some of us have the aftermarket cages on our machine. Knock on wood I’ve never had to use it but it’s nice to know I have that extra set of security,” said Mac Cartwright, a rider from Indiana.

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