Snowmobilers using loud, aftermarket exhaust pipes may be putting others at risk of losing a key trail in the network.
Trails often go through private property, and some landowners have had enough.
"Please take notice of this sign that 4 landowners have erected on their property that our A/D North trail at 4 Mile Lake goes thru," says a post yesterday on the North Bay Snowmobile Club Facebook page.
"If we loose this trail we are screwed to reach farther North. This would have a major impact on all aspects of Snowmobiling! Again please note that Hydro Lines go through private property it’s not a free for all."
The warning from landowners comes on the heels of a similar warning from the OPP.
Municipal, Regional and Provincial Police partners across Ontario are working on how to respond to the vast use and current expansion of modified snowmobile exhaust systems states the OPP. The issues being, some snowmobilers commonly replace the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) exhaust component, in exchange for an aftermarket product commonly referred to as a "pipe" or a "can."
The original muffler that muffles or lessens the exhaust noise is then physically replaced by the can.
"It is the resulting increase in noise that results in complaints, not simply the fact that operators choose aftermarket parts for their sleds", states Sergeant Andy Bishop from the North East Region Snowmobile, ATV, Vessel, Enforcement (SAVE) team.
Much of Ontario's trail system encompasses private property. The private property landowners allow the use of their land for snowmobile use via Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) trails. But, landowners and municipalities are being disturbed by the increase in snowmobile exhaust noise, which is resulting in trail closures.
There are applicable charges under the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act for modifying, altering, or changing the exhaust or muffler on your snowmobile.
In addition, officers have been conducting random R.I.D.E. stops and in addition to the prevention of careless or impaired operation, officers are ensuring compliance with; proper use of safety equipment, insurance, and registration requirements and mechanical requirements.
Police remind snowmobilers that consuming or having "open" alcoholic beverages anywhere but a private residence, common area or licensed premise is a violation of the Liquor License Act and carries some steep fines.