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Utah requires online education course as off-road fun kicks off

Apr 7, 2023, 10:20 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2023, 11:14 am

LITTLE SAHARA, Utah — Only one more day until the big day.

Bud Bruening already has his bags and his trailer packed.

“It’s kind of like Super Bowl Sunday of the off-road world,” Bruening said. “We are dying to get out there. We have been couped up and now is the time. So, we are loading everything up”

Easter weekend is when things really get hopping for those who love off-roading. Little Sahara, the sand dunes in Juab County, kind of transforms into a small city.

“Little Sahara and Easter, it’s the big one. It kind of kicks off the season. It gets busy out there,”  Bruening said.

After the long winter season in Utah, with warmer weather this weekend, you can’t blame people for wanting to get outside.

“Especially when you have machines, you want to get out and use them and right now is the prime opportunity,” Bruening said.

He is the president of the off-road and OHV advocacy group UTV Utah. For as much fun as all of this is, Bruening said it’s only fun if you get back home safely.

“It does make you nervous, when you (get) into Little Sahara, they have that big sign right there that says how many signs since the last casualty, and usually on this weekend, it says zero,” he said.

It’s not just Little Sahara.

Other popular OHV places include Sand Hollow in Washington County, the Knolls in Tooele County, Sand Flats in Moab, Coral Pink Sand Dunes near Kanab, and anywhere else where people love to ride.

“Knowing where people are, paying attention, running your flags, making sure you’re doing everything right,” Bruening said. “You can do everything right and still find yourself in a bad situation. But if you do everything right, you’re going to minimize the risk.”

There is also a new Utah state law requiring anyone who drives an off-road vehicle, adults and children, to take an online education course. That went into effect in January.

Utah’s Division of Outdoor Recreation said, 100,000 people have already taken it.

“It’s just really designed to help educate people who are new into the off-road world about staying on trail, take more than what you brought in, and treading lightly. All those principles we can use to keep trails and access open,” Bruening said.

It’s all about safety, so everyone can enjoy more weekends after this one.

“Be safe while you’re out there.”

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Utah requires online education course as off-road fun kicks off