OPP fine snowmobilers for wearing helmets incorrectly

Police say a number of snowmobile riders aren't wearing their helmets properly — and they warn a helmet that isn't correctly fastened is just as dangerous as not wearing one at all.
Provincial police are warning snowmobile riders to snugly fasten their helmets. (Jim Mone/Associated Press)

Police say a number of snowmobile riders aren't wearing their helmets properly — and they warn a helmet that isn't correctly fastened is just as dangerous as not wearing one at all.

The president of the Sudbury Trail Plan Association said he sees a lot of riders not wearing helmets or not having the strap snug to the chin.

Chuck Breathat said it's important for riders to fasten their helmets securely or they'll fly off.

“It's a sad thing to see that people — in this day and age with the education that we have — still tend to not think of what they're doing or think ‘it won't happen to me’,” he said.

On Family Day in Sudbury, police issued 12 helmet offences.

OPP Inspector Mark Andrews said people may think they can get around the rules by fastening the chin strap but letting it fall loosely — but it's still a violation.

Andrews said the helmet has to be snug enough that putting two fingers under the strap is uncomfortable.

Not wearing a helmet properly contributed to one snowmobiling death this year already, he said.

Andrews noted the violators are almost always men.

“If you love your man … make sure they're going to wear a helmet when they're out on their ATV or snow machine,” he said. “You'll keep them around a lot longer.”

Andrews said the chances of surviving a crash increase dramatically if the rider has his helmet on right.

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