(by David Waterman, affiliate WVOC Columbia)
Stricter safety rules for youngsters who operate all-terrain vehicles will take effect July 1st. Governor Nikki Haley signed the controversial measure into law yesterday.
“Chandler’s Law” is named after 16-year-old Chandler Saylor of Swansea, who was killed in an ATV crash in 2003. His parents have tried to get the tougher regulations into law for years, but have met with opposition from some legislators who feel it would just be one more government intrusion into people’s private lives.
With 63 children under age 17 dying in all-terrain vehicle accidents during the past decade, the bill finally mustered enough support.
The law requires ATV riders 15 and under to wear a safety helmet and eye protection, plus have a certificate showing they’ve completed a “hands-on” training course. And it prohibits youngsters under 6 from operating an ATV.
Parents and guardians of children can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $200 if they let their kids operate an ATV in violation of the standards.