August 26, 2011
The Labor Day holiday weekend brings an increase in outdoor recreational activity, and boaters and OHV enthusiasts are encouraged to practice safe, ethical and responsible boating and off-highway vehicle use when on the water, roads and trails.
Operating a boat or OHV under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI) is illegal and can increase the risk of accidents, injuries or worse. A blood alcohol content of .08 is considered legally drunk in Arizona, but keep in mind that the law says you can’t be impaired to the slightest degree.
Boaters are advised to always wear a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved and properly-fitted life jacket. All children 12 and under are required by law to wear one when underway on any vessel, and for safety it is also recommended for adults.
“With the new inflatable models that allow for more comfort and freedom of movement, there is no reason not to wear a life jacket anymore,” said Ed Huntsman, Game and Fish’s boating safety program manager. “These are proven life-saving devices, so promote safety in your own family by wearing and modeling the use of life jackets.”
With the recent high temperatures, remember to drink lots of water and stay hydrated when out on the water or riding on the roads and trails.
OHV enthusiasts are advised that when on an OHV, you should always wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) approved, properly fitted and fastened helmet.
“All operators 18 and under are required by law to wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet in Arizona when riding on an OHV such as an ATV or dirt bike,” said Jim Harken, Game and Fish’s OHV public information officer. “If riding in an OHV, such as a Rhino or a side-by-side, a helmet is not required, but is highly recommended. The best advice is that everyone should always wear their safety gear when riding.”
OHV operators are also reminded that if your OHV is made by the manufacturer for use over unimproved terrain and weighs 1,800 pounds or less, you are required to purchase and display an annual OHV Decal, regardless of the type of license plate you have. You can get the OHV Decal at all Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) offices or online at www.servicearizona.com.
Boat Safe, Boat Smart, Boat Sober. To learn more about boating safety, go to www.azgfd.gov/boating.
Nature Rules! Stay on roads and trails. To learn more about OHV safety go to www.azgfd.gov/ohv.