New California law for Dune enthusiasts starting Jan. 1

New California law for Dune enthusiasts starting Jan. 1

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Buttercup Dunes--The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has their hands full this weekend making sure dune enthusiasts are safe while enjoying the great outdoors.

BLM park rangers stress the importance of being properly strapped in with a seat belt both on and off the road because it could help save your life.

They also said duners should pay very close attention to shifting sands.

"Sometimes they're quite steep..cliff like and so the dune just drops off," Joya Szalwinski, BLM interpretive ranger said. "Going over that too fast, that can result in serious injury."

Officials take safety very seriously at all the Imperial Valley Sand Dunes.

Szalwinski said they expect about 150,000 visitors this holiday weekend.

She said over the last five years, accidents have been cut in half.

"We attribute this to aggressive safety campaign that we put out annually," she said. "We do a lot of visitor contacts going camp to camp and enforcement efforts to keep people safe while recreating."

New safety laws will also go into effect next year.

Starting January 1st, California law will require anybody in a recreational off-road vehicle to use a seat belt and helmet. The driver has to be at least 16 years of age.

"If they are younger and they're learning how to drive it, there's has to be an adult supervising them," she said. "They have to be sitting right next to them. They can't be following along on a quad or another vehicle."

Szalwinski said the Buttercup Ranger Station will offer ATV certification classes Saturday, November 24th and Sunday, November 25th at 9 a.m.

All ages are welcome to attend.


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