This is Snowmobile Safety Week in Ontario. The OPP and OFSC are reminding snowmobile enthusiasts to stay off the lakes and waterways for the time-being as conditions are generally poor in many parts of the province. Stay on OFSC Prescribed Trails and don’t ride impaired, speed or ride after dark.
Last winter, the OPP investigated 15 snowmobile-related fatalities, a decrease from the previous two winters. While the OPP and OFSC are relieved to see fewer lives lost, data clearly indicates that riding impaired, speeding and riding after dark continue to be major contributing factors in snowmobiling incidents. Riding within the law and making smart choices is the only way to ensure an enjoyable ride that gets you home safely to your family at the end of the day.
In particular, the OPP and OFSC are looking to middle-aged males to ride with extra care and control this winter as 87 per cent of last season’s snowmobile-related fatalities involved male riders and 58 per cent were riders or passengers between the ages of 35 and 54.
The campaign is also a great opportunity to caution all snowmobilers about avoiding road running wherever possible. Where snowmobiling on the side of a public road is legal and necessary to access trails, you should always:
• Adjust your speed to the conditions.
• Watch out for parked vehicles and motor vehicles emerging from driveways.
• Always give motor vehicles the right of way.
• Be extra cautious when approaching intersections.
• Observe and respect all traffic signs.
• Slow down wherever snow banks obstruct your view.