Saskatoon

10 snowmobile safety tips

This year's Snowmobile Safety Week has started with a tragedy in Saskatchewan.

Two Saskatchewan teens killed this weekend as Snowmobile Safety Week begins

The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association is asking riders to be careful on the trails and use common sense. (Stock photo)

This year's Snowmobile Safety Week has started with a tragedy in Saskatchewan.

Two teenagers, 15 and 19 years old are dead after a head on collision Friday night.

It's a grim reminder that snowmobilers need to be safe on the trails, and watch out for danger.

"Common sense is the number one rule, I think," said Rick Doleszar, chairman of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association Board. "You'll hear a lot of the advertising campaigns out there, of course, making sure that your sled is in good mechanical condition and safe to ride."

Doleszar said it's also important to be aware of your surroundings.

"Avoid riding at night in unfamiliar terrain, stay on the trail system, never ride under the influence of alcohol," he said.

Police believe alcohol might have been a factor in Friday's crash in Southey. The association warns that alcohol and snowmobiling shouldn't mix.

"I don't think it's any different than any other recreational vehicle," said Doleszar. "It's just common sense."

Doleszar said the association is sending best wishes to the families.

"In a situation like that, it's just an extreme tragedy, the loss of two young persons, and our sympathies go out to those families," he said.

Safety tips

Here are a few more snowmobile safety tips courtesy of Parkland Ambulance in Prince Albert.

  1. Operate a machine that is the right size for you. Never give a young person a machine with more horsepower than they can safely operate
  2. Know the area where you are operating and have permission to operate on private land
  3. Dress for the weather and always wear your helmet
  4. Ride with a buddy
  5. Driving a snow machine while impaired carries the same penalties as operating a motor vehicle
  6. When operating on lakes or rivers, know the ice conditions. Ice must be at least 25 cm thick
  7. Be prepared for an emergency with a first aid kit, signally flares, something to build a fire if needed.
  8. Use common sense.
  9. Make sure that your sled is in good mechanical condition and safe to ride.
  10. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid riding at night in unfamiliar terrain. Stay on the trail system.

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