With all the snowmobile trails in and around Rideau-Goulbourn, there are lots of people out enjoying the trails throughout the winter months. Snowmobiling is a fun outdoor winter activity, but remember there's always a danger. A number of accidents are reported every year. Snowmobiling fatalities often involve alcohol, unsafe ice, excessive speed, and riding outside trails and rider abilities.
Accidents are preventable if proper safety precautions are followed. The following tips will help keep you safe while you enjoy your machines:
- Machines should be carefully checked before heading out.
- Riders should read the owner's manual and make sure to get all the required permits and insurance.
- Riders should wear the proper gear, including an approved helmet.
- Snowmobilers should always ride with a partner.
- Stay on approved trails and do not trespass.
- Riders are reminded that the maximum speed on trails is 50 km/h, and 20km/h where posted.
- Snowmobilers should plan their route, and advise someone of the plan and arrival times.
- Carry a cell phone, and GPS if possible.
- Riders travelling across ice should also wear a floatation device or a floater suit in case they go through the ice.
- Riders should also practice defensive snowmobiling techniques.
- Keep an eye out for obstacles on trails such as trees and tree branches, trail washouts, and snow banks.
The Ottawa Police Service Marine, Dive and Trails Team will be hitting the trails this winter to do prevention, education as well as enforcement. For more information, visit the Ottawa Police Service's page on snowmobile safety or learn more from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.