With winter having hit Borderland early this year, and fresh powder still falling, snowmobilers have been out riding areas trails.
But just like every year, they must remember to obey the laws and be safe.
“The OPP reminds snow vehicle operators that it is up to you to drive responsibly and obey laws,” OPP Cst. Anne McCoy said in an e-mail to the Times.
“Operate snow vehicles with caution and with respect of your environment,” she added.
“Lower your risk and always ride within your capabilities.”
Here are some tips for smarter riding:
•Tread lightly on trails and watch for hazards;
•Use correct safety apparel as it can significantly reduce the chance of or severity of injury;
•Ride with others, never alone;
•Safety inspect your vehicle before you ride;
•Always supervise youngsters;
•Ride sober–no alcohol or drugs; and
•Ride within your capability and be aware of your surroundings.
Additionally, within the Town of Fort Frances, a bylaw governs the use of snowmobiles within town limits.
The bylaw states:
•No person shall operate a motorized snow vehicle in the town unless the operation of the vehicle is for the purpose of proceeding to, or returning from, a point outside of Fort Frances;
•No person shall drive a motorized snow vehicle along or upon any public property, pathway, or footpath used by or set apart for the use of pedestrians;
•No person shall operate a motorized snow vehicle in the Town of Fort Frances at a speed in excess of 25 km/h;
•All motorized snow vehicles shall be equipped with a muffler in good working order, and in constant operation, to prevent excessive or unusual noise or excessive smoke;
•No person under the age of 16 years shall drive a motorized snow vehicle within the limits of town; and
•No person shall drive a motorized snow vehicle within the corporate limits of the town after 11 p.m. and not before 6 a.m. on Sunday to Thursday, and between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Motorized snow vehicle owners and operators also must comply with the provisions of the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, which includes possessing a licence, registration, insurance, and trail permit on Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails.
Local snowmobiling clubs are a great resource for information on when, where, and how to ride.
To find out more about your local club, visit the OFSC website at www.ofsc.on.ca
To read about snowmobile safety, check out www.mto.on.ca
The public can report any unsafe or careless snowmobiling incidents to the police by calling 1-888-310-1122 or dialing *OPP on their cellphone.