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Association Continues Pioneering Work in Vehicle Standards and Occupant Safety for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 18, 2011 – Whether you call them UTVs, side-by-sides or ROVs, these off-highway vehicles are a perfect combination of recreation and work capabilities. In 2011, the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) will continue to support ROV enthusiasts and the industry’s ability to produce vehicles that customers want to responsibly enjoy.

In March 2010, ROHVA obtained approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) of the first voluntary vehicle standard for these recreational off-highway vehicles and then continued its efforts by soliciting and exchanging information and views with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its staff. In July 2010, ROHVA announced to CPSC a comprehensive safety action plan consisting of both expanded vehicle standards and occupant behavior standards.

“We informed CPSC that ROHVA had a comprehensive plan to take care of its customers and that design-restrictive, mandatory standards would be counter-productive,” said Paul Vitrano, ROHVA executive vice president. “With the help and support of our members, we have made significant progress so far and will deliver on our promise before the end of this year.”

On the vehicle side, ROHVA has developed expanded standards that are expected to be approved by the ANSI in Q2 of 2011. The additions include the first-of-its-kind dynamic stability test for off-highway vehicles as well as occupant retention standards. On the behavior side, ROHVA plans to launch the ROV DriverCourseSM training program later this year.

New ROV DriverCourse

The ROV DriverCourse will consist of two parts to maximize participation by making it easily accessible and time-efficient. The DriverCourse begins with the award-winning online ROV e-Course education program. Available at since July 2010 as a stand-alone program, the ROV e-Course is a free, interactive online safety course designed to reinforce driver responsibilities and identify:

  • Key risk factors associated with ROV operation
  • Safe riding practices designed to reduce risk of injury
  • The best resources for learning to operate particular vehicle models

After learning knowledge, judgment and risk management online, the ROV DriverCourse puts drivers behind the wheel of their vehicles for a hands-on familiarization experience. Drivers will have the opportunity to practice driving on a controlled range under the direction of a certified Instructor.

“The ROV DriverCourse will be an important resource for occupational users as well as recreational users who would benefit from experience in a controlled environment before venturing out in their vehicles,” Vitrano added.

ROHVA urges enthusiasts to follow the ROV Safety Rules to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and everyone else:

  1. Always fasten your seat belt, wear a helmet and other protective gear and keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.
  2. Avoid paved surfaces. ROVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
  3. Drive only in designated areas, at a safe speed, and use care when turning and crossing slopes.
  4. Never drive or ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5. Never drive an ROV unless you’re 16 or older and have a valid driver’s license. ROVs are not toys.
  6. Never carry more passengers than the ROV is designed for, and never allow a passenger who is too small to sit in a passenger seat to ride in the ROV.
  7. Read and follow the operator’s manual and warning labels.

The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association is a national industry organization that promotes the safe and responsible use of ROVs. ROHVA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop equipment, configuration and performance standards. Based in Irvine, Calif., the not-for-profit association is sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Kawasaki, Polaris and Yamaha. For more information visit