Members of the RCMP used International Snowmobile Safety Week (January 15th – January 21st, 2012) to encourage riders to take a snowmobile safety course.
“We expect that when that first major snow storm occurs, there will be many anxious snowmobilers ready to head out. That is why we are encouraging snowmobilers to think about safety now so when the snow arrives, they will be prepared.” says Cst. Tammy Lobb, Nova Scotia RCMP. “Ultimately, snowmobiling is fun winter activity and we want riders to be safe so they can enjoy themselves.”
Some tips to keep in mind:
-Always wear a helmet;
-Watch your speed. Observe posted limits on trials;
-Refrain from drinking alcohol or using drugs while operating a snowmobile;
-Watch out for hazards like utility poles and fences;
-Don’t trespass. Seek permission from land owners to operate on their land;
-Be aware of ice thickness, avoiding bodies of water that may not yet be frozen; and
-Ensure your snowmobile is registered and your machine is insured.
Throughout the season, the RCMP will be out on the trails with members from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia (SANS). Working together the agencies ensure that snowmobilers are enjoying themselves safely on the trails and if they plan to consume alcohol, that they are doing it at the end of their day after they are no longer operating their snowmobiles.
John Cameron, General Manager of the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia, says sober snowmobiling is a priority and that is why alcohol is no longer sold at snowmobile clubhouses in the province. Cameron says, “Operating a snowmobile at night, mixed with speed and alcohol can be a recipe for disaster.” Cameron also added that, “Riding with others, being aware of ice thickness, and abiding to the signage on the trails will help ensure your snowmobiling trip is a safe one.”
For information on snowmobile safety courses in Nova Scotia, contact the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia at (902) 425-5454, ext. 324.