This documentary features Dr. Larry Foreman, Emergency Room Physician at Arroyo Grande Hospital. He became alarmed and concerned at the number of children slaughtered by ATVs on the Oceano Dunes at the Oceano State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA).
While the Off-Highway Vehicle Division of State Parks and Recreation (OHV) minimized the total number of injuries, and reported only 330 per year, Dr. Foreman documented almost a thousand a year treated at one hospital alone, and of these over a hundred are children.
Dr. Foreman wanted to protect children by banning them on ATV's, but met with overwhelming opposition from OHV, the off-highway industry, and Friends of Oceano Dunes, who went so far as to threaten his ability to practice medicine (according to a statement he made on KVEC a few years ago). Getting nowhere with our representatives, Abel Maldonado and Sam Blakesley, Dr. Foreman enlisted a state-wide organization of emergency room physicians to support legislation that would at least make mandatory the safety suggestions of ATV manufacturers.
Abel Maldonado was willing to back Dr. Foreman's bill, Senate Bill 1228 which requires that children take a four hour safety course (children as young as six years old may take the course, without actually having to get on an atv to earn a safety certificate) and ride ATV's appropriate to their size and maturity. The OHV is not happy with the bill, since it would require enforcement.
Dr. Foreman's original position to ban children from riding dangerous ATV's is the unrelenting quest of Concerned Families for ATV Safety. Two of its founders, Sue Rabe and Carolyn Anderson, state that ATV's of any size are inappropriate for children. They warn other parents of the dangers in an attempt to spare them the tragedy they have suffered through the deaths of their children on ATVs.
Also featured is Rachel Weintraub, Director and Senior Council of Consumer Federation of America, who challenges the Consumer Product Safety Commission for its failure to stem the alarming death and injury rate of children on ATVs.
Dr. Larry Foreman recognizes the uphill battle to protect children but is determined to see changes. He states "a half a loaf of bread is better than no bread at all".
This 30 second spot previews "Deadly Dunes and the Dollar: Letters to the Editor" a 30 minute documentary about the dangerous Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area as expressed in letters to the editor from medical personnel from two local hospitals. It shows the Off-Highway Vehicle Division (OHV) of California State Parks and Recreation asserting the misleading and unsubstantiated claim of a $200 million a year economic bonanza for our county for this dangerous activity, when the county and state actually subsidize the ODSVRA for the off-highway vehicle industry.
The 1982 Coastal Development Permit was conditioned to provide a permanent staging area following the certification of the SLO Local Coastal Plan. OHV is out of compliance. The LCP designated the beach from Pier Avenue to the ODSVRA as a Buffer Area.
This 24 minute video shows a plume of dust pollution originating in the off-road riding area of the Oceano Dunes. This dangerous plume is carried by the wind to Nipomo, where particulate matter (PM 10) levels violate health standards.
Much of this off-highway riding area is owned by the County, who must decide whether to sell the land for off-highway use, which breaks the crust of the dunes.
It also shows the County Supervisor of the affected district, and the Supervisor of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area giving information to the public in a Town Hall Meeting in February 2007. This video challenges many of their statements with documents and maps.
The video shows the Executive Director of the Coastal Commission stating in Februrary 2008 that the use of the land for off-roading is in violation of the County's General Plan.
If the off-roading is kept off county land, there would be no access to any of the dunes for seven months a year, which would improve air quality downwind.
Larry Allen with the County Air Pollution Control Board addresses the newly sworn in South County Advisory Commission in Nipomo on March 24, 2008. The issue is air pollution downwind of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area. Videos of the plume from the off-roading area of the dunes are shown before and for three days after the meeting. Particulate matter levels in Nipomo are health threatening.