At TNT Motorsports Park in Chester, all-terrain vehicle riders are asked to wear head-to-toe gear, including boots, helmets and safety goggles.
But those are the park's rules. South Carolina is one of only a handful of states that does not have laws on the books to regulate ATV safety, according to the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.
State Rep. Herb Kirsh, D-Clover, is hoping the third time will be the charm to get such legislation passed. Kirsh prefiled the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act in December, to be considered when the legislative session opens Tuesday.
Similar bills were approved by the legislature and then vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford in 2006 and 2007.
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"I keep reading people getting killed on those babies, so I thought we should try to do something about it if we could," Kirsh said.
Kirsh's bill borrows wording from a North Carolina law that took affect in 2005. Highlights include:
• Requiring all riders to wear eye protection and a safety helmet;
• requiring a safety course for all riders born on or after Jan. 1, 1993; and
• setting size restrictions on ATV use for different age groups.
Violating the law would result in a $50 to $200 fine.
The need for safety laws like the one Kirsh proposed is debated within the motorsports industry.
"There's enough laws nowadays," said Byron Hager, general manager of Hager Cycle World in Rock Hill. "They don't need no more laws. The problem is people not doing what they're supposed to be doing."
Gregg Rylee, general manager of Alpha Motorsports, another local dealership, said he would support a law that leads to increased safety.
In 2005, the most recent year available, 467 ATV-related deaths were reported nationally, according to atvsafety.gov, which compiles ATV statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Barbara Parrish, owner of TNT Motorsports Park and a member of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Counsel, said the issue is not as simple as just choosing the safety laws that have been proposed or no laws at all. Parrish said laws are not necessarily a bad thing, but they should include input from those who understand motorsports.
Parrish is an advocate of size-fits, guidelines that determine what ATV someone uses based on their height and weight, not their age. She said size fits is more likely to put someone on the appropriate ATV than age guidelines.
For Parrish, the most important part of ATV safety is education. Safety courses are essential for all riders, she said, adding that many ATV manufacturers offer incentives to buyers who take the courses.
"Maybe if we can educate them, we can make a real difference instead of trying to legislate it to death," she said.