As two Manitobans have already died driving snowmobiles this month, the RCMP is reminding people to be safe while on the trails.
The RCMP wants everyone to ride safely while enjoying the outdoors so they make it back home to their families.
Therefore, they are asking people to remember to:
- Know your abilities and ride within your limits. This will allow you to always be in control of your snowmobile.
- Always check the weather conditions before you leave.
- Always ride in groups and let people know where you're going, the route you will be taking, and when you expect to return.
- Always wear protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves, and eye protection. Wear layers of clothing to keep warm and dry.
- When possible, avoid crossing bodies of water. If you are crossing bodies of water, be cautious of ice thickness, never ride in single file, and wear a life jacket over your outer clothing.
- Ride sober. Don't drink or consume drugs before or while snowmobiling.
Only registered snowmobiles can be driven by people 14 years or older. Under direct parental supervision, a 12-13-year-old can operate the machine. Any rider must be wearing a helmet properly and any rider under 16-years-old cannot cross a roadway.
"In the past five years, Manitoba RCMP have responded to 23 fatal snowmobile collisions where 65% involved alcohol and/or drugs," says Staff Sergeant Kyle McFadyen of Selkirk RCMP. "In 15 of the 23 fatal collisions, the operator was found to be driving too fast and either lost control or struck an object. Of those killed in collisions, eight were not wearing a helmet. All of these deaths could have been prevented."