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Conservation officers offer important ORV safety tips

LANSING— Speed and reckless driving are the primary contributing factors for off-road vehicle accidents, with 24 percent of all ORV accidents reported in 2017 resulting from people driving too fast, and 16 percent of riders not wearing a helmet.
    Michigan DNR conservation officers are seeing more ORVs hitting the trail earlier in the season. They’re also seeing more accidents which easily could be avoided by keeping safety in mind.
    Most ORV accidents can be avoided by riding at a safe speed, riding sober, riding on the right side of the trail, easing up around corners, being familiar with the terrain and riding within the ORV’s limits.
“There may be designated ORV speed limits on public roadways approved for ORVs,” said Conservation Officer Ben Shively, who patrols Oceana County. “And while there are no posted speeds on trails, riders can receive a citation for excessive speed or reckless riding.”
It’s also important to wear a helmet and to remember that there are many ORVs on the trails, including a growing number of side-by-side vehicles.
“We want to remind riders to take corners easy and ride on the right side of the trail,” said Conservation Officer Josiah Killingbeck, who patrols Lake County. “Side-by-sides are wider than dirt bikes and quads, taking up more room on the trails. You never know what’s around the corner.”
Conservation officers are seeing a big increase in ORV users drinking and driving, according to Killingbeck.
“ORV riding is a great sport,” he said. “Families and youth are enjoying it – please be responsible and ride sober so everyone can continue to enjoy this sport.”
To learn more about ORV safety and rules or to view an interactive, printable map of state roads available for ORV use, go to or For more information, contact Cpl. John Morey, 989-732-3541.