Consumer groups question Illinois laws on ATV safety

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — All-terrain vehicle enthusiasts in Illinois are divided on whether the state’s lax riding laws should be strengthened.

The Chicago Tribune reports Illinois has no rules on rider age, helmet use, number of riders or safety certification.

The Consumer Federation of America says there were 528 ATV-related deaths nationally last year. Ten of them — including a child — were in Illinois.

Consumer groups advocate age restrictions, helmet requirements and more.

Some say more and better-regulated trails would keep riders safer because they’d have to follow park rules.

Rider Justin Vandenberg of Rockford says laws aren’t the answer because “people will kick over fences and ride where they want.”

The Specialty Vehicle Institute suggests wearing protective gear and supervision for riders under 16. Pediatricians recommend those under 16 not ride.