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Contact: DNR Office of Communications

ATV/UTV Think Smart Before You Start Campaign Successful

man wearing helmet driving ATV Think smart before you start and always ride safely. Photo credit: Travel Wisconsin/James Netz

MADISON, Wis. – More than 1,000 miles of ATV/UTV trails were patrolled by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens and county sheriffs’ deputies during the ATV-UTV Think Smart Before You Start campaign happening July 29-31 that ended with no fatal crashes.

The campaign began in 2021 to curb risky behavior and impaired operation of ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles. While there were zero fatalities during the patrol weekend, officers reported common problems found among operators and passengers that left unchecked, could lead to serious problems.

One of the most common violations observed by law enforcement officers during the campaign was improper helmet and no helmet for riders and passengers under the age of 18. Everyone should wear a helmet whether required by law or not. Remember to Wear it, Wisconsin! 

  • All ATV/UTV operators and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a minimum DOT standard ATV or motorcycle helmet with the chin strap properly fastened.
  • Bicycle helmets do not meet this requirement.
  • All UTV passengers must have their seatbelts always fastened.

One of the best things ATV and UTV operators can do to operate safely is to take an online safety course. A list of approved safety education classes is available on the DNR Safety Education webpage.

Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in a crash incident to report the incident without delay to law enforcement officials. In addition, within 10 days of the incident, the operator must submit a written report to the DNR.

For more information on ATV and UTV recreation in Wisconsin, visit the DNR’s ATV/UTV riding in Wisconsin webpage.