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Experts Remind ATV, UTV Riders, Others Safety For Off-roading Season

Nanjing Huiguang Lighting Co.,Ltd | Updated: Jun 04, 2018

"If you're riding a UTV, a side-by-side, it comes with the standard safety equipment -- your seatbelts, they're there for a reason," said Jimmy Entenman, co-owner of J&L Harley Davidson and Big Sioux Powersports. "You know, in a lot of the side-by-sides you can get a four-point harness, it just depends on the type of riding you're gonna be doing."

Entenman said some vehicles won't even perform if you don't buckle up.

"A lot of the units won't run at their top speed unless you have the seatbelt buckled," he said.

Although helmets are optional in South Dakota, they add a layer of protection, but only if they fit properly.

"If you're gonna buy a helmet it's something you definitely wanna go into a retailer and do cause a helmet is supposed to fit a certain way," Entenman said.

Even the clothes you're wearing can make a big difference if you get into an accident.

"You're gonna wanna wear long pants, over the ankle footwear," Entenman said. "You know, if you went down and you're wearing shorts and flip flops, it's not gonna feel too good."

Because the state allows riders to make their ATVs and UTVs street legal, Entenman said adding those features can also keep you safe.

"You're gonna need a rearview mirror, you're gonna need a lighted license plate, you're gonna need a horn, but there are other kits we can add onto that, so definitely talk to your dealership of choice," he said.

Entenman said you should always use your vehicle's lights and brightly colored vehicles are easier to spot by other riders and drives.

But the best advice he had ...

"You're seeing people out on the road, whether they're out on motorcycles or they're on their bikes or their side-by-sides or ATVs so definitely be cognizant of it," Entenman said. "Put your cellphones down if you're driving a car or if you're driving a recreational vehicle."

Governor Dennis Daugaard said, "Jim Schaefer was a quality person and a committed public servant. Jim never sought the limelight, but he always worked hard on behalf of his district and our state."

Rep. Lynne DiSanto (R-Rapid City) also remembered Schaefer fondly.

"Representative Schaefer was a fine man, he was a rancher, a country guy, he knew a lot about hard work, and really understood the people and he did a fantastic job as a representative in Pierre," DiSanto said.

Disanto said Schaefer always carried a quote around with him in his pocket that was written on a piece of paper. She said it was about how what's most important in life is about who you love and to be loved. She said he would often taken it out of his pocket when there was something contentious going on and show it to the others to remind them of what's most important in life.