OPP cites snowmobile rules, safety tips after death, crashes

There were several snow­mobile collisions through­out South­western Ontario over the weekend.
Wellington County OPP Constable Keith Robb noted that in a collision in Grey County, one person was killed when he left the trail and struck a tree.
Grey OPP Constable Drew Wilder said David William Hart, 37, of Thorndale was tra­vel­l­ing west on an Ontario Fed­eration of Snowmobile Club trail northwest of Dor­noch when his 2008 Skidoo  went off the trail hitting the tree. Hart was pronounced dead at the scene. The OPP used its snow machines to transport expert in­vestigators to the scene 1 km east of Concession 4. The crash occurred on OFSC Trail 240, commonly known as the Dor­noch – Chesley trail.
Wilder said Police do not suspect alcohol to be factor.
He said the OFSC had deemed that specific trail to be open but with limited access.  “They define limited access as ‘Trails are passable for margi­nal snowmobiling.’ This colli­sion occurred around open wat­er which police believe contributed to the operator going off the trail,” Wilder said.
Robb noted that in another crash, a person left the trail and struck an em­bankment. In a third incident, two people went through the ice on a snow­mobile.
He said snowmobiling can be a dangerous activity if snow­­mobilers choose to make bad decisions when they are operating their snow machines.
Robb suggested drivers slow down when travelling on unfamiliar trails or when they have limited visibility.
“Use caution when operat­ing on frozen waterways. En­sure that the ice is at least 5 inches thick before you take a snowmobile on it.”
Police issues
Drivers of a snowmobile shall carry, at all times,
–  a driver’s licence or motorized snow vehicle (MSV) operator’s licence;
– evidence of the motorized snow  vehicle’s registration, and shall produce them to a police officer or conservation officer;
MSV drivers must stop for police and conservation offi­cers as well as land owners.  Fail­ure to comply is an arrest­able offence.
All impaired driving laws apply to MSV’s anywhere in Canada; on private property or otherwise.
All  Liquor Licence Act laws apply to MSV drivers and passengers, such as consump­tion,  open, or readily available liquor.
Municipal  bylaws
Check with the local muni­cipal office to determine wheth­er there are bylaws speci­fic to an area, or the one in which a ride is planned.
Private property
No one may drive an MSV on private  property without per­mission of the owner.  That includes but is not limited to fields,  forests, business  prop­er­ties, driveways and lawns.
Safety precautions
– don’t drink and drive;
– know the machine and how to use it;
– know the route and leave an itinerary with someone;
– carry a map, compass, cell phone;
– never ride on untested ice surfaces;
– carry extra belts and spark plugs;
– have cash on hand for emergency fuel purchases; and
– dress for the weather.