Child ATV safety law goes into effect Friday

Steve and Pam Saylor pushed for an ATV safety law in South Carolina after losing their son, Chandler, in a 2003 ATV accident.

COLUMBIA (WACH)" Parents, lawmakers and child safety advocates are sending a powerful message about ATV safety in South Carolina.

On Thursday, officials from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the ATV Safety Institute, and state lawmakers gathered in Columbia touting an ATV safety measure known as Chandler's Law. The law goes into effect Friday, July 1 and provides basic safety requirements for children under the age of 16. The measure requires mandatory safety training, protective gear like helmets, and age-appropriate vehicles.

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Chandler Saylor died in a 2003 ATV accident at a Midlands birthday party when he was just 11-years-old. Since then his parents, Steve and Pam, have worked to make ATV safety legislation a reality in South Carolina.

After several years of starts and stops, the family finally achieved their goal when Governor Nikki Haley signed the measure into law in May.

"This law is not about trying to judge people or tell them what to do for the sake of telling them what to do," said Pam Saylor. Parents need to think about it because their child's not always going to be with them. Parents have the power to create better, safer riders.

Parents can be held accountable if their children do not follow the law TMs guidelines. South Carolina now becomes 1 of 45 states with ATV safety legislation.

Now we can tell our children it's the law, said Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg. Sometimes children don't want to listen to parents because Mom and Dad said so. But, when you say it's the law and you have to do that it has a little bit more oomph to it.

A Consumer Product Safety Commission report shows 2,588 children under the age of 16 died in the U.S. in ATV-related accidents between 1982 and 2008.

For ATV safety tips from the ATV Safety Institute click here.