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Snowmobile Safety Tips from Ontario Provincial Police

The OPP has some tips for snowmobile drivers hitting the trails this week.

ONTARIO - Plenty of snowmobile enthusiasts are taking advantage of the fresh snow fall this week. 

With this in mind the OPP have released a list of safety tips, to avoid becoming a statistic: 

- Snowmobile drivers must carry their driver's license or snowmobile operator's card when they ride. If your license is under suspension, you can't drive a snowmobile either.
- Your license, ownership and proof of insurance must be provided to a police officer on demand.
- A snowmobile driver must stop for police when signaled.
- Speed limits must be obeyed. A snowmobile driver can be charged for speeding.
- A snowmobile must not be driven along the serviced portion of the roadway, except to cross at a right angle. This includes the shoulder of the road.
- Impaired driving laws apply to snowmobiles anywhere in Canada whether on private property or not. Don't mix alcohol and snowmobiling. 
- Snowmobiles must not be driven on private property without the owner's permission; violators may be subject to a charge of trespassing.
- A proper muffler and an approved, properly fit helmet are required by law.
- Drivers of a snowmobile directly or indirectly involved in a reportable collision are required to call police as soon as possible.
- A trail permit is required to use approved snowmobile trails, when they are declared open for use.
- No ice is safe ice. Remember that you can't tell the strength of ice by its appearance. The best advice is to avoid frozen waterways.
- Dress appropriately and let someone know where you plan to ride and for how long.
- The OPP takes search and rescue very seriously. Make sure someone knows your planned route so that rescuers can find you. - Time is of the essence when someone is missing, especially during winter months.
- Snowmobile owners are encouraged to check out snowmobile by-laws with the Municipality that they ride in.

Speed is the leading cause of snowmobile fatalities, followed by impaired driving. 

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