Heading into February, the New York State Park Police and State Police are reminding all snowmobile riders to make safety their priority in an effort to reduce the number of personal injury and fatal accidents throughout the State of New York. State Park Police and State Troopers will be out on the snowmobile trails enforcing State Law with particular emphasis placed on unsafe or reckless operation, the enforcement of all speed limits, including the State’s maximum speed of 55 MPH and the removal of intoxicated operators from the trails by arrest.
“In cooperation with other law enforcement agencies throughout the state, State Park Police will be out this weekend vigorously enforcing speed limits, operating while intoxicated laws and snowmobile registration requirements,” said State Park Police Mark Van Wie said. “We will make every effort to ensure a safe recreational snowmobile season for riders. By knowing and following safety recommendations, riders can help ensure they have an enjoyable time on the trail.”
Recommendations for safe riding include:
- Prior to starting your ride, check over the snowmobile to make sure it is in good working order and carry emergency supplies.
- Always wear a helmet and make sure to wear the proper snowmobile gear including bibs, jackets, boots, and gloves.
- Always ride with a buddy or at least one other person.
- Ride responsibly and within your abilities.
- Always ride to the right side of the trail especially at hill crests and curves.
- Operate at a speed which is safe and prudent for the given conditions.
- Respect landowners, obey posted signs, and stay on the marked trail.
- Frozen bodies of water are not designated trails. If planning to ride on ice, proceed with caution and be aware of potential hazards under the snow. Consider wearing a snowmobile suit with flotation built-in and carry a set of ice picks as a precaution.
- Never drink alcohol or use drugs and ride.
Everyone operating a snowmobile should be familiar with safe riding practices and all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The best way to learn is by taking a snowmobile safety course. To find a course, visit https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/snowmobiles/education.aspx. A safety certificate is required for youth between ages 10 and 18.
The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) oversees the development, maintenance and oversight of a statewide snowmobile program, which features approximately 10,400 miles of state-designated snowmobile trails. For more information on snowmobiling in New York, visit https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/snowmobiles/