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Safe Snowmobiling Makes for Happy Trails

Archived News Release

Safe Snowmobiling Makes for Happy Trails

McGuinty Government Provides Tips For A Safe Snowmobile Season

Ministry of Transportation

Snowmobilers are reminded to put safety first and plan ahead before riding the trails this winter.

Snowmobiling continues to be one of the province's most popular winter activities. With over 34,000 kilometres of trails to travel, Ontario's snowmobile routes are among the world's best. Make your ride a safe one by following these important safety tips:

  • Always drive sober. Alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription and some over-the-counter medications will affect your judgment, slow your reaction time and increase your risk of fatigue and hypothermia.
  • Travelling on ice is always risky. Conditions can change quickly so check beforehand, carry ice picks and wear a buoyant snowmobile suit in case you break through.
  • Only ride on marked, open trails and check conditions with your local snowmobile club before heading out.
  • Always carry a survival kit, which should include first aid supplies, a trail map, a compass or GPS unit, waterproof matches, a flashlight and high energy food.
  • Travel with a friend and tell someone your destination, route and when you plan to return.

Quick Facts

  • Snowmobile Safety Week runs from January 15 to 22.
  • The majority of snowmobiler fatalities are alcohol-related, with many occurring on frozen lakes or rivers.
  • Anyone convicted of impaired driving on a snowmobile will lose all driving privileges (including their privilege to drive a car) for a minimum of one year.
  • Snowmobilers have responsibilities under the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act including obtaining permits and licences, using proper equipment and obeying rules of the road and trail.

Additional Resources


“Ontario is home to the most extensive network of recreational trails in the world. To help keep Ontario families safe, I encourage all riders to follow these important safety tips”

Bob Chiarelli

Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation

“Each winter, almost 90 per cent of tragedies occur off trail, so snowmobilers should make the smart choice - the safest place to ride your sled is on open OFSC trails.”

Eric Saunter

Safety Manager, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC)



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