Speed was factor in all five recent fatal snowmobile collisions says OPP
ORILLIA, ON, Jan. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - January 18 to 26, 2014 is Snowmobile
Safety Week and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ontario
Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) kicked off the campaign with some
important messages about staying safe throughout the snowmobile season
OPP Commissioner Lewis, Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial
Commander for Traffic Safety and Operational Support were joined by
OFSC Vice-President Graham Snyder, members of the Highway Safety
Division and other OPP and OFSC members to share information about the
risks and dangers associated with snowmobiling.
The OPP also shed light on the five fatal snowmobile collisions that
have taken the lives of six people so far this season, citing speed as
a causal factor in all five of these incidents, four of which occurred
on roads and none on OFSC prescribed trails.
According to the OPP, a change in behaviour is needed in some segments
of the snowmobile community because speed was a causal factor in half
of the 18 snowmobile fatalities that occurred last season (2012-2013)
and the other half were attributed to drinking and riding.
The OPP and OFSC praised the collaboration of the S.T.O.P. (Snowmobile
Trail Officer Patrol) and S.A.V.E. (Snowmobile ATV and Vessel
Enforcement) Unit members in their efforts to make snowmobiling in
Ontario safe through a combination of enforcement and education.
Frigid temperatures, unstable terrain, lakes and rivers and reduced
visibility were identified as some of the natural elements that make
snowmobilers a particularly vulnerable group of riders. The OPP and
OFSC emphasized the importance of riding sober, avoiding lakes and
rivers and they recommended staying on OFSC prescribed trails to
increase their chances of enjoying incident-free riding. OFSC
prescribed trails are groomed, maintained and patrolled throughout the
As part of the kick-off, S.T.O.P. Chair Andy Chvedukas recounted a story
about a significant snowmobile collision that almost cost him his life
and left him severely injured. Chvedukas' snowmobile collided with a
tree when he glanced back for just a few seconds to see if his fellow
riders were still behind him.
The OPP and OFSC are asking snowmobilers across the province to get on
board with their efforts to make snowmobiling in Ontario safe and
enjoyable by riding within the law.
The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario's highways, trails and
waterways through the reduction of preventable injury and death.
Initiatives are developed and delivered through the Provincial Traffic
The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe,
responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building
safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider
education, safety legislation, development and enforcement.
For more information, click on the following links:
Safe Snowmobiling: Owning and Operating a Snowmobile in Ontario
Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs
Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/OPP_News
SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
OPP Sgt. Lise Grenier,
Specialized Patrol Coordinator
Highway Safety Division
Phone: (705) 329-6770
OFSC: Jean Noordhoff
Phone: (705) 739-7669 ext. 234