Snowmobile safety starts with you: OPP

With the anticipated arrival of warmer temperatures over the next few days and potential increased snowmobile use over the holiday season, the OPP is reminding snowmobilers to plan their routes carefully.
The snow that has fallen from recent winter storms acts as a warm blanket on the thin ice, making rivers and lakes appear safe when they are not.
“Ice conditions can change rapidly each day due to milder temperatures, so we urge those who operate snowmobiles to be aware of the trail conditions,” said Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, commander of the Highway Safety Division and the province’s snowmobile programs.
“When unsure, avoid traveling over any bodies of water,” he stressed.
Already this winter, in eastern Ontario, the OPP has investigated a snowmobile death attributed to thin ice conditions when three victims drove across a lake and fell through the ice.
Tragically, one passenger was not able to pull himself from the frigid water.
A safe return from a snowmobile trip starts with proper planning before you leave. Let others know where you are going and when you will return.
Pick up trail maps and information about the trails in the area where you are going to ride. Information on trail conditions is available from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs at www.ofsc.on.ca
The OFSC has issued a “yellow alert” in relation to current snowmobiling conditions in the province.
This alert signals the need to use patience and be very cautious on swamps and waterways “because the weight and insulating effect of the heavy snow may cause slush, and ice that was not safe before the storm may be weakened by the extra snow.”
The OPP reminds all snowmobilers to operate their machines safely, don’t drink and sled, and have a safe holiday season.
Snowmobile safety starts with you!