During a trip to New Mexico for the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) conference, the Hatfield-McCoy Education Team received the Education Excellence of the Year 2007 award for its dedication to OHV safety and education.

The Hatfield-McCoy trail system, which is located in southern West Virginia, is entering its third year of an Off-Highway Vehicle outreach program that targets elementary age children in grades K-5. Put on by the Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreation Authority (HMRRA), the program is designed to teach safe riding habits to children. It features information from national authorities on the subject such as NOHVCC, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, the ATV Safety Institute, the Motorcycle Industry Council, 4-H, and the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles.

“We’re very proud of the trail system’s safety record, but as a whole West Virginia has set a new record for ATV-related deaths year after year,” says HMRRA executive director Jeffrey Lusk. “Its programs like these that will help teach the next generation how to ride safely and help to improve WV’s ATV-safety record.”

Thanks to the program, more than 7,500 elementary-school aged students have been taught the importance of safety when operation ATVs and other off-highway vehicles. Each in-school visit by the HMRRA’s Law Enforcement staff includes discussion of the use of proper riding gear including helmets, proper training and supervision, and an interactive CD demonstration.

Also honored by the NOHVCC was HMRRA marketing director Mike Pinkerton, who took home the award for 2007 State Representative that Walks the Talk.

“This was a great honor to be mentioned among my peers at this year’s national conference for my work as an NOHVCC State Representative and as an employee of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System,” says Pinkerton.

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