Vicksburg, Miss…Over the past several years, all terrain vehicle (ATV) recreational riding has become increasingly popular at the Mississippi lakes. The numerous acres of mudflats and miles of shoreline during low lake levels provide great riding opportunities for ATV enthusiasts.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District has instituted an educational campaign to remind users of the safety and environmental concerns associated with ATV usage. This campaign is an educational program dedicated to increasing public awareness of how to enjoy the great outdoors while minimizing the impacts of ATV use. Before operating an ATV, it is recommended that operators attend an approved ATV training course. Riders should always wear the appropriate safety gear to include a helmet and protective eyewear.
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 36 states that it is unlawful to operate an ATV in a careless, negligent or reckless manner. Visitors are reminded to follow and obey all rules and regulations of ATV usage. All ATV operators must practice safety procedures while riding for recreational or work-related purposes. Operation of any motorized vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is illegal and constitutes careless and reckless operation. A common practice called “SKIMMING” is a violation of CFR Title 36. Skimming is bringing an ATV to a high rate of speed and hydroplaning across water.
Due to streambed damage and destruction to sensitive aquatic plants and animal life, state law prohibits streambed ATV riding.
In addition, destruction, defacement, removal or any alteration of any public property to include natural formations, mineral deposits, historical and archaeological features are prohibited. These features include materials from old house sites, arrowheads and other Native American artifacts, and Native American paleontological resources.
Strict enforcement of all rules and regulations is intended to provide a safe environment for ATV operation. The improper use of ATV’s can cause rutting and destroy sensitive wetland habitat, erode creek banks, and destroy native plant species allowing invasive plant species to thrive.
Operators who refuse to follow established/posted rules and regulations will be cited and subject to pay all fines, appear before a Federal Magistrate, and suffer banishment from all Mississippi lakes.
ATV riding information can be obtained through Tread Lightly at www.treadlightly.org or the ATV Safety Institute at www.atvsafety.org.
Release no. 14-026