KNOW THE LAW AND GET TRAINED BEFORE SNOWMOBILING

Having Fun on the Snow Starts with Smart Choices

ORILLIA, ON, Jan. 4 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) are reminding snowmobilers that to have fun and peace of mind while sledding this winter, riders must be compliant with the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act.

Many of the rules governing motor vehicle drivers apply to snowmobile operators.  Examples include those that apply to speeding, failing to stop at a road crossing and driving with blood/alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit. Failure to comply with the law carries penalties including fines, loss of driver's licence, criminal charges and/or imprisonment.

"A rider whose Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) is between 0.05 and 0.08 ("Warn Range"), can be issued the same 3-day warning that suspends a driver's licence on the road," said OPP Sergeant Michael Price, Off Road Safety Program Coordinator of the OPP Highway Safety Division. "In this case, the offending snowmobiler can no longer drive his/her sled to complete their ride." More serious alcohol offences will result in licence suspensions that will prematurely finish a rider's snowmobiling season. Consequences also get tougher for repeat occurrences, and riders are reminded that the new Ontario Zero Tolerance law for driver's 21 and under also applies to snowmobiles.

To help Ontario snowmobilers make smart choices, the OPP and the OFSC are providing the following checklist. Compliant snowmobile operators must always have on their person or sled:

  •      Valid driver's licence (or if under age 16, a Snow Vehicle Operator's Licence)
  •      Proof of snowmobile ownership
  •      Sled registration (including properly placed registration numbers and validation  sticker on sled)
  •      Proof of sled insurance (pink slip)
  •      Approved snowmobile helmet (for each rider)
  •      2011 Snowmobile Trail Permit (properly displayed on the sled) with permit receipt

The OFSC and OPP also advise snowmobilers to get trained. The OFSC offers two courses approved by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO): OFSC Driver Training is a 6-hour classroom style course for snowmobilers aged 12 years and older. The Right Way is an interactive version of Driver Training for adults. Information about both courses is available at www.ofsc.on.ca.

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 Safety Program. Visit opp.ca for more information.

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, visit ofsc.on.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Contact:  OPP Sgt. Michael Price, Coordinator, Off-Road Safety Program
Provincial Support Unit
Highway Safety Division
Phone:  (705) 329-6127

OFSC:  Leta Elsner
Phone: (705) 739-7669


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