Lawmakers work to strengthen ATV laws in South Carolina

Published: Apr. 20, 2016 at 9:56 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2016 at 9:49 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Just days after an ATV crash killed a Sumter County boy, state lawmakers are discussing legislation to toughen laws on children and teens using ATVs.

Hunter Moore, 12, died in an ATV accident in Sumter County over the weekend.

Wednesday a House Agricultural Subcommittee took up what's been called the All-Terrain Vehicle and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Act to try and tackle the dangers of ATVs.

On average, six children die from ATV-related injuries in South Carolina each year including the one that killed Moore.

The new bill makes it illegal for a parent or legal guardian to let a child operate a recreational off-highway vehicle that is in violation of the manufacturer warning label. It also says ATV passengers must wear eye protection, a helmet and seatbelt.

Proponents of the bill say it is a push to draw awareness to ATV safety in the state. They also say it's another way to keep updating laws that are already on the books.

"Unfortunately we have those instances where children that are injured or killed while on an ATV, we want to prevent that. Policy is one way to do that, educating parents and raising awareness. Educate parents and community members on what's the best way to keep kids safe so a lot of this is creating that awareness" said Megan Branham, Director of Policy with Children's Trust of South Carolina.

The bill passed 3-0.

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