Snowmobile Safety Tips

Update:

Here are some safety tips from the O.P.P :

Snowmobilers must, at all times, while operating a motorized snow vehicle, comply with the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act.

Many of the same rules governing motor vehicle drivers apply to snowmobile operators.  Examples include those that apply to speeding, failing to stop at a road crossing and driving with blood/alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit. Failure to comply with the law carries penalties including fines, loss of driver’s licence, criminal charges and/or imprisonment.

An operator of a motorized snow vehicle, whose Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) is between 0.05 and 0.08 (“Warn Range”), can be issued the same 3-day, 7-day & 30-day warning that suspends a driver’s licence on a public road or private property (or a lake). More serious alcohol offences will result in licence suspensions that will prematurely finish a rider’s snowmobiling season. Consequences also get tougher for repeat occurrences, and operators of motorized snow vehicles, are reminded that the new Ontario Zero Tolerance law for driver’s 21 and under (and Novice Drivers) also applies to those operating snowmobiles (motorized snow vehicles).

Snowmobilers riding a snowmobile who want to comply with the law (Motorized Snow Vehicles Act) must always have on their person or sled:

Safety Tips:

  • Never ride on closed trails. To do so is trespassing. Trails are closed for your safety.
  • Know where you are riding and that you have permission to be there, if not, you are trespassing.
  • Never drink and Ride. A snowmobile is a motor vehicle as defined under the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • Avoid waterways. Do not confuse a snowmobile for a boat, it is not. If you break through the ice, you and it will sink.
  • Always obey the rules of the trail. They are there for your safety.
  • Don’t Speed! The speed limit while travelling in urban areas is 20 km/h and in rural areas it is 50 km/h, unless stated otherwise on the trail.
  • Wear the proper clothing for snowmobiling. Weather and trail conditions can change quickly, wear clothing that will protect you.
  • Wear an approved snowmobiling helmet and goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sunlight and the light reflected from the snow.
  • Stay on marked trails. Venturing off them may take you onto private property.
  • On all trips, both short and long, always let someone know your route so if you have problems, emergency service personnel will know where to start looking for you.
  • Carry a cell phone with a fully charged battery in a waterproof pouch.
  • Finally, remember as the operator of a snowmobile, it is the choices you make while riding that either gets you home safely or into a situation that may cause mishap, injury or death.
  • Update: December 29, 2010 – Snowmobiler killed in B.C. avalanche

    Update: January 14, 2011 – Man struck by snowmobile in Winnipeg dies

    Update: January 15, 2011 – Snowmobiles unwelcome in Winnipeg: councillor

    Update: January 17, 2011 – Snowmobile accident claims 2 GTA men

    Update: January 22, 2011 – Two men found dead in Quebec after separate snowmobile, ATV accidents

    Update: February 13, 2011 – Close call for Newfoundland Snowmobilers

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