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Snowmobiliers are reminded to use caution when heading out on the trails

Tuesday, January 14, 2014   by: Kate Adams

OPP News Release

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As the snowmobile season is upon us and the weather being so unpredictable, the members of the North Bay Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Detachment are reminding all snowmobile users to practice safe riding habits when using the trails.

Here are a few things to consider:

•Ensure that you have the appropriate licence and that your snowmobile is insured.  Purchase an OFSC trail pass for you snowmobile.

•Prepare an emergency kit for your sled that includes basic tools, a spare drive belt, spark plugs, a tow rope, trail maps, a first aid kit and a flare. Bring a cell phone or/and GPS. You should also have a plan for breakdowns and bad weather.

•Tell others where you are going, who is with you, where you will park your vehicle and when you expect to return. This will make it easier for rescuers to find you if you become stranded.

•Dress for the weather and always wear an approved helmet. Pack some extra clothes in case you get wet or the weather changes. Pack some snacks, water and fire making supplies just in case you break down. A thermos containing hot soup or hot chocolate is a good idea.

•Ride sober—don’t ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs and make sure your buddies ride sober too.

•Do not ride on closed trails or private property. Many trails go across private land. If you ride on a closed trail, you are trespassing. You must also be aware of local bylaws that regulate the use of snowmobiles on city streets and roads.

•Follow the speed limits and watch for other riders and trail users. Be a courteous snowmobiler-slow down when approaching hikers, skiers, wildlife and stopped snowmobiles.

•Ride according to the conditions-especially at night. Ride at a speed that will allow you to stop safely within the distance you can see with your head lights.

•Cross roadways with care, and only after stopping to check for traffic.

•Be visible—reflective clothing is a good idea. 

For more information go to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs website at: www.ofsc.on.ca

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