Game Wardens Increase Patrol on Canadian River for Sand Drags

Texas Game Wardens are planning enhanced patrols for the annual Sand Drags event. The event which takes place on the Canadian River North of Amarillo runs through this weekend. Game Wardens will be working in cooperation with the Potter County Sheriff's office and other local law enforcement agencies, to ensure public safety. A high volume of visitors is expected during that weekend.  

Texas Game Warden Public Information Officer Mike Wheat reminds anyone who plans on utilizing an off highway vehicle, to abide by the state laws regarding the recreational activity. "We will be enforcing state laws including safety violations.

Additionally, anyone who plans on operating a vehicle off the highway for recreational purposes, including ATVs, UTVs, dune buggies, pickup trucks and any other vehicle, will be required to have an OHV decal affixed to their vehicle."

There are many areas around the state designated for ATV/UTV use, including portions of the Canadian River. Wheat reminds that "ATV's can be a fun, just make sure before you get out to have the proper OHV decal, as well as safety equipment." State law requires riders to not only purchase and attach the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) decal to their ATV/UTV, or off road vehicle, but riders must wear proper helmets and eye protection as well. The use of seat belts will also be enforced, if the off road vehicle is equipped with them. 

Wheat also encourages the public to be aware of a commonly overlooked safety violation. "Most ATV's are not designed to carry passengers. There have been numerous instances in the past, in which there were injuries related to riding double on an ATV, and the operator losing control."

As for age requirements, any ATV/UTV operator younger than 14 years of age may not operate unless under the direct supervision of a legal guardian, or other adult authorized by their guardian. The public is also encouraged to complete the required ATV/UTV safety course that can be located through the TPWD website. 

A Texas OHV decal can be purchased at the Texas Game Warden Amarillo District Office located at 203 W 8th Petroleum Building Suite 200 in downtown Amarillo (806-379-8900). Decals can also be purchased by calling the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Customer Service Center. The TPWD CSC phone number is: 512-389-8917. The decal cost is $16.00 and can be paid for with a credit card through the TPWD CSC. The decals are valid from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.

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