Statistics paint a grim picture of reckless snowmobiling, say Ontario Provincial Police

“Snowmobile Safety Week reminds us that it takes awareness, preparation and precautions to safely snowmobile,” says Solicitor General

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has released data that indicates continued disregard for warnings associated with recurring causes and factors of snowmobile fatalities.

For the past 10 years, driving too fast for the conditions has been the leading cause of snowmobile fatalities investigated by the OPP. Alcohol/drugs were a factor in almost half of the deaths. Forty per cent of fatalities occurred on frozen waterways – a grim reminder that traveling on frozen lakes and rivers is still dangerous year after year.

As Snowmobile Safety Week kicks off this weekend, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) and other valued public safety partners remind snowmobilers that making the driving season safe and enjoyable is a matter of common sense and smart decisions.

“To make every snowmobile ride safe, you must first avoid unnecessary risks,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique. “Our fatality data sends a clear message that snowmobilers who speed and drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, as well as those who dismiss our warnings that no ice is safe, are tipping the balance towards a tragic outcome to their conduct.

“The Ontario Provincial Police, in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, is asking all snowmobilers to make riding home with their families the most important part of every ride,” said Carrique.

“Snowmobile Safety Week reminds us that it takes awareness, preparation and precautions to snowmobile safely,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Know the rules and follow them, bring an emergency kit, avoid waterways and be prepared at all times for the unexpected, especially on trails with other users such as pedestrians or skiers. .

“Responsible snowmobiling means staying alert so everyone can get out and enjoy the winter safely,” Jones said.

“Snowmobiling can be a great way to get outdoors during the winter months, but it’s important to keep yourself and those around you safe,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “During Snowmobile Safety Week, we remind people to follow trail rules, adapt riding to weather conditions, and avoid riding on frozen waterways where the thickness of the ice can be unpredictable. And never operate a snowmobile while impaired by drugs or alcohol.”

“We want cyclists to have a safe and enjoyable experience on the trails this winter, but also remind cyclists to ride within their limits, operate with care and control, and always check the interactive trail guide for up-to-date information. on trail availability,” said OFSC chief executive Ryan Eickmeier.

For more information on the OFSC and snowmobiling in Ontario, click here.