The Government of Saskatchewan has declared this week, Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week, to raise awareness of the dangers of snowmobiling.
Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association Leah Switzer says it’s important for riders to remember some of the risks they face while sledding.
“It’s a fun sport, but with it you need to take cautions and makes sure that you’re being safe in doing it,” said Switzer. “So it’s a great way to just really promote snowmobiling, and to make everyone aware of the different things they can do to ensure they do it safely.”
Switzer says more people may be inclined to start snowmobiling this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. She adds snowmobiling is the perfect socially distanced sport.
“You’re getting outside, you’re seeing some great scenery, and you’re able to do it separately from other people from other households,” said Switzer.” It can be a very safe activity it followed correctly.”
Switzer says before anyone hits the trails, they need to register their sled, which provides insurance in the case of an accident, and take a snowmobile safety course. Anyone born on or after January 1st, 1989 is required to have taken the course before riding.
She says the most concerning thing people do will sledding is drink before driving a sled.
“I know with that social aspect of snowmobiling, and being out there, that seems to be something that people think is acceptable and okay, it’s not,” said Switzer. “It carries the same fine as drinking and driving.”
In addition to staying sober, Switzer says it’s important for people to just use common sense while on the trails and have an emergency kit in tow.
For more information on safe riding practices, and to take the snowmobile safety course, go to the Sask. Snowmobile Association website.