Have fun, but be safe, and sober, on snowmobile trails this winter.
That message comes from Bancroft OPP, which says it will have officers patrolling trails and roadways in its region.
The OPP has a Snowmobile, ATV and Vessel Enforcement Unit, known as SAVE, which works to keep trails safe and that includes watching for impaired drivers.
Among the OPP’s advice is to always wear an approved snowmobile helmet firmly secured to the chin and to slow down if driving at night.
- Drivers and passengers must always wear approved snowmobile helmets that are firmly secured under the chin.
- Obey speed limits and road/trail signs and always drive within your own ability;
• Reduce your speed when driving at night and watch out for fences, guide wires and other objects that are more difficult to spot at night;
• Whenever you see other drivers headed your way, slow down, pull to the right and slowly pass;
• Wear reflective clothing so that you are more visible to others;
• Avoid driving on frozen lakes and rivers. If it can’t be avoided, check ice conditions before you cross or go onto the ice;
• Wear a floater suit and carry ice picks and make sure they are accessible. Remember no ice is safe ice and conditions can change quickly with changing weather;
• Never travel alone and tell someone of your outing including; your destination, the route, description of your snowmobile and your expected time of return. Consider leaving a detailed plan with friends or family members and if you are delayed, contact them to let them know of the change in plans;
• Never drive impaired. Alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, or a combination can dramatically slow your reaction time and affect your ability to operate and make good decisions. If convicted of impaired driving on a snowmobile, you will lose your driving privileges for all types of vehicles including motor vehicles, commercial vehicles and motorcycles; and
• Always travel with a valid driver’s licence or motorized snow vehicle operator’s licence, the vehicle’s registration permit and proof of insurance. They are all required documents that the driver must provide upon demand to police. If riding on an Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Club (OFSC) trail, a valid OFSC trail permit is required to be affixed to your snowmobile.