Opinion » Letters

Ride on, rookies

Pismo Beach

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Ms. Langford’s statements (“Let’s return to nature,” Dec. 11, 2008) would lead you to believe that the California Department of Parks and Recreation is ambivalent about the issue of pollution caused by off-road vehicles. This is not the case. Recently, Andrew Zilkie, the district superintendent, accompanied by a representative of CARB, visited our facility to verify CARB compliance by the dune buggies we manufacture and rent at the Oceano dunes.

Furthermore, regarding safety, currently there are specific training requirements in the State of California that deal with the use of ATVs by adolescents. They are commonly referred to as ASI licensing requirements.
 
Some vendors offer ATV tours for individuals who do not possess ASI certificates. These tours are to be led by an individual certified by ASI to perform this function. Provided this policy is followed, it should go a long way to improve the safety of children at the Oceano dunes.
 
I will be meeting with representatives of the Parks Department this week and will propose the use of special easily identifiable flags (NASCAR rookie stripes) for both the ASI certified guides and the associated rental quads. If this policy is adopted, experienced dune users will know when they come upon a group of inexperienced riders and give them a little more room to play.

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