(Juneau) Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says he has seen an increase in fatal ATV/UTV crashes, as their routes have expanded throughout the area. He says five or ten years ago there may have been one every other year but now there are close to two or three every year.
Schmidt says he is not against their use on busier roadways but he wants the public to be cautious. He says he would hate for a bystander or one of his deputies to roll up to another fatal ATV crash. The sheriff adds that each time it is another family, brother, sister, mother, father, friend, who has lost a loved one.
Schmidt urges a measured approach before opening certain roads for ATV/UTV use. He says it evaluate every location before it is open to make sure it is safe for everyone.
More than two dozen people have died so far this year in ATV/UTV crashes in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says most of those 26 crash victims were not wearing helmets or seatbelts, which are two things the agency recommends for safe operation of the off road vehicles. Alcohol was also a factor in a number of fatal crashes. DNR officials say nearly half of this year’s fatalities were due to rollover crashes, and that monitoring speed and using caution on rough terrain is critical. He said some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATVs and UTVs.