New York State reminds snowmobilers to ride safely

Tue 21 Dec 2021 13:55

Snowmobile safety courses remain available

√ Reminder to sledgers to use COVID-19 safety measures at the start of trails, during breaks

As the snowmobile season begins, New York State urges riders to keep safety in mind, both when riding the trails and during breaks with other riders.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, snowmobile safety courses continue to be offered, with more than 100 registered courses available. An online list of open classes can be found here. Successful completion of this course results in the issuance of a State Snowmobile Safety Certificate, which is required for youth aged 10 to 18 to operate a snowmobile.

A press release noted: “All cyclists can benefit from a course that provides basic information, which everyone needs to keep cyclists and other trail users safe.”

State park police, state soldiers, environmental police officers, forest rangers and local enforcement agencies enforce state laws on snowmobile trails, including instances of dangerous or reckless driving, speed limits including the state’s maximum speed of 55 mph, and operation while intoxicated.

These rules apply to all local and club trails, as well as the statewide trail system, which crosses 45 counties and includes land under the jurisdiction of the state offices of parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Environmental Conservation Department, the New York State Canal Corp. ., local governments and many private landlords.

“Park police are there to remind snowmobilers – especially those who may be new to the sport – of safe operating practices; and that reckless driving, speeding, and driving while impaired or intoxicated present significant and serious risks to all trail users. The rules will be strictly enforced by law enforcement, ”said Acting Deputy Director of Law Enforcement Major Michael Pavelock. “While driving outdoors is a safe activity during this pandemic, snowmobilers should be aware that for off-trail visits to restaurants and other establishments, the new COVID-19 safety protocols announced by Governor Hochul require wearing masks. all indoor public places, unless the company or location implements a proof of vaccine requirement.

A Park Police snowmobile safety video is available here.

State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “The winter sports season is soon in full swing and we want snowmobile enthusiasts to enjoy the beautiful trails of our great state. However, every winter there are needless tragedies and a wake of casualties left behind because of the decisions made by impaired drivers. There is no excuse for driving an impaired vehicle or motorized device, whether it is a vehicle, snowmobile, boat or ATV. By making responsible and safe choices, New Yorkers can do their part to keep our trails safe and enjoyable all winter long. “

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Each year snowmobile enthusiasts travel the thousands of miles of New York State trails to enjoy this popular outdoor winter activity. I join our partners at State Parks and the New York State Police Department in reminding cyclists to ride responsibly and safely, take proper precautions and never ride an impaired snowmobile. by alcohol or drugs. private land.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles reminds New Yorkers to register their snowmobiles before heading out on the trails. Snowmobile registrations must be renewed annually and can be renewed online at the DMV website.

DMV Commissioner Mark JF Schroeder said, “For those who enjoy New York’s beautiful trails, I hope you have a safe and fun season. As a reminder, when driving a snowmobile in New York City, you are legally required to wear a helmet and never operate a snowmobile while impaired.

Recommendations for safe driving include:

√ Before starting your ride, check the snowmobile to make sure it is in good working order and have emergency supplies.

Always wear a DOT or SNELL approved helmet and be sure to wear the correct snowmobile equipment, 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 on the right side of the trail, especially on ridges and curves.

Operate at a safe and prudent speed for the given conditions.

√ Respect the landowners, obey road signs and stay on the marked path.

√ Frozen bodies of water are not designated trails. If you plan to ride on ice, proceed with caution and be aware of the potential dangers under snow. Consider wearing a snowmobile suit with a built-in flotation system and a set of ice picks as a precaution.

Never drink alcohol or drugs, and never drive.

For more information on snowmobiling in New York City, visit

The New York State Board of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit

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