Notice to the tens of thousands of Massachusetts families with All-Terrain Vehicles: If you were ever foolhardy enough to let children ride your ATV, those days are over.
Amid the flurry of bills passed at the end of July was one that, as of Oct. 1, makes Massachusetts the first state in the nation to declare ATVs off-limits to children under 14, the bill’s backers say. The law is nicknamed ‘Sean’s Law’ for an 8-year-old boy, Sean Kearney, who died in 2006 after an ATV accident. Sean had been on a playdate and his parents had no idea he’d be riding an ATV until they got the emergency call telling them he was on his way by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.
Dr. Peter Masiakos, a surgeon who treated Sean there, helped push for the law. “The worst part of my job is telling a parent that they’ve lost their child,” he said.