By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
The Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) and its affiliated groups, Tread Lightly! and Mad Media, have teamed up to create “UTV Impact”, a community-driven effort to educate and persuade new utility vehicle (UTV) riders to ride with respect. Fellow drivers are impacted when new owners or renters drive recklessly. This behavior not only affects the driver, but also the other people and wildlife around them.
The objective of the campaign is aligned with ORBA/One Voice’s mission of protecting access to public and private lands for off-road motorized use. It is coupled with Tread Lightly!’s mission to promote responsible outdoor recreation to minimize the environmental and social impacts of off-road recreation. UTV Impact was created as an inclusive opportunity to connect this emerging form of motorized recreation into the off-highway world.
Fred Wiley, ORBA CEO, believes that with the 500% increase in sales of UTVs, also known as side-by-sides, “It is important that ORBA assists in developing a program that will sustain responsible recreation on public and private lands and UTV Impact is an important component of our work.”
ORBA represents members of the off-road industry, and this is a great way in connecting grassroots, new enthusiasts and the industry together with the common thread of protecting our privilege to ride in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. The time is now to take action and do our part to ensure we keep our trails and riding areas free of trash, respect wildlife and other users, and ride with control.
UTV Impact manager Dave Logan says, “As we see an explosive growth in new UTV owners and renters, we also see a need to explain how a driver’s behavior impacts the people and trails around them. We need everyone to cooperate to keep our trails open. There are not enough law-enforcement officers to write tickets and not enough volunteers to repair the trail damage.”
The off-road community and Tread Lightly! understand firsthand the impact of making responsible decisions that will help keep operators safe and access open to public lands. These decisions will conserve resources in all recreational situations. The foundations of this positive behavior are respect and responsibility.
Matt Caldwell, executive director of Tread Lightly!, sees UTV Impact as a vital tool in keeping trails open and accessible. “The influx of new users to the off-road community has put a great strain on public lands. We believe that UTV Impact can be the foundation to help protect our access for the next generations.”
The demand for access to public lands is increasing for all types of use and it is our goal to limit our impacts on the land and conflicts with other users. This will be accomplished through the UTV Impact campaign.
For more information contact Fred Wiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 661-323-1464.