With five snowmobile deaths already this season the OPP along with its partners were on the trails reminding people to ride safely, obey the snowmobile laws and regulations and to use caution when enjoying their winter pass time.
The OPP was the lead organization in the safe trail initiative, which was aimed at making the trails safer for all snowmobile operators.
They were on the trails reminding snowmobilers to ride sober, to heed safety warnings, ride with caution and stay within the speed limits at all times.
Const. Andy Bishop, of the OPP North East Region SAVE Team who was patrolling the trails with local OPP Constables Bill Nabb and Dave Wert, said the main things they were checking for were riding sober, obeying the speed limits, having a valid driver’s licence, registration, insurance and trail pass.
During one trail inspection Const. Bishop reminded the sledders to obey the trail speed limits. He also pointed out a minor mechanical problem with the one snowmobile to ensure the sledder was aware of it. The OPP were also able to answer visiting snowmobilers questions about directions and trail conditions.
The snowmobile checks are conducted in somewhat the same manner as RIDE checks. The OPP set up at the sides of a trail where there is good vision in both directions, which enhances the safety of the officers and the snowmobilers. The stop takes only a matter of a few minutes if the snowmobiler has all his paperwork in one convenient place and doesn’t have to search for it.
During the weekend initiative in the OPP North East Region 2,200 sleds were checked resulting 40 charges under the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act, no impaired driving charges were laid, two liquor licence infraction tickets were issued and one sledder was found in possession of a stolen OFSC trail pass. One snowmobile accident was reported when a snowmobiler became disoriented in bad weather and crashed into a hydro pole guy-wire.
The OPP along with trail wardens from the Kirkland Lake Golden Corridor Snowmobile Club patrol trails in the Kirkland Lake area on a regular basis to help ensure safety for all users.
With the trails being officially open everyone who uses them must have a valid trail pass displayed on their snowmobile. Trail passes are available at various retail outlets in and around Kirkland Lake.