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Keystone Heights incident draws attention to all-terrain vehicle issue


Sun staff writer
June 07. 2005 6:01AM

The Gainesville Sun

A ShandsCair flight crew wheels young trauma patient Anthony Campau across the helicopter pad at Shands at the University of Florida on Monday. Campau, 9, hurt himself while riding an all-terrain vehicle on his grandmother's property Monday morning, according to Clay County sheriff's deputies
ride on an all-terrain vehicle in the Keystone Heights area Monday morning ended with an injured 9-year-old boy being flown to the trauma center at Shands at the University of Florida, deputies reported.

Anthony Campau of Elkton was riding on an ATV when he drove into a fence wire that caught him across the neck, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office. The accident occurred about 9 a.m. while the boy was riding on his grandmother's property.

ATV enthusiasts say the vehicles are safe if riders follow manufacturers' safety guidelines and adults properly supervise children who use them.

But the crash is another in a series of accidents that opponents maintain highlights the need for additional regulation of the all-terrain vehicles.

The boy, who had been visiting his grandmother, was in the back yard of the private property at 6535 County Road 315 C when he struck the fence.

He had minor cuts and swelling, deputies reported.

Anthony was flown to Shands at UF. An officer checked on the boy's medical condition later Monday and said he was "doing fine" but would remain hospitalized overnight for observation.

The hospital reported the boy was in good condition Monday afternoon.

The boy was not wearing a helmet, but no charges are anticipated in the case.
State law requires children under 16 to wear a helmet and eye protection whenever they're riding an ATV and prohibits the vehicle from being operated on public right-of-way, which includes the shoulders of a publicly-owned road.

In 2003, 490 ATV crashes were reported in Florida, figures with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show. Twenty-two people died and 440 were injured.

The number of crashes has some calling for stricter enforcement regarding ATV use.

"I think that all the pediatric surgeons are very emotional about this topic," said Dr. Mike Chen, a pediatric surgeon at Shands at UF. "ATVs are treated as toys. I would say weekly we get children who are injured in ATV accidents."

Chen said there is no licensing requirement to ride an ATV.

"It's long overdue that the government does something about this," he said.

I guess the Gov't ought to do something because Parents and families are too stupid or lazy to enforce safety requirements or to supervise their children.
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