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Thursday, January 14, 2016

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ontario federation of snowmobile clubs logoOPP/OFSC want safer riding!

ofsc opp safety education image
(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) remind snowmobilers that being compliant with the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act (MSVA) and being properly trained are key contributors to their safety, peace of mind and enjoyment while sledding this winter.
Many of the laws governing motor vehicle drivers apply to snowmobile operators, such as failing to stop for police on the trail, speeding, not coming to a full and complete stop at a road crossing, and driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit. Failure to comply with the law carries penalties including fines, loss of driver’s licence, criminal charges and/or imprisonment. Charges incurred while snowmobiling go on your driving record and can impact both your ability to continue to drive and affordably insure an automobile.
“A rider whose BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08 (known as the “Warn Range”) can be issued the same 3-day warning that suspends a driver’s licence on the road,” said OPP Sergeant Lise Grenier, Specialized Patrol Coordinator of the OPP Highway Safety Division. “This means that on the snow, the offending rider can no longer drive his/her sled to complete their ride.”
More serious alcohol offences will result in licence suspensions that will prematurely end a rider’s snowmobiling season. Consequences also get tougher for repeat occurrences and riders are reminded that the Ontario Zero Tolerance law for drivers 21 and under also applies to snowmobiles.
In addition, snowmobilers are reminded that both the driver and passenger must always wear a snowmobile helmet that meets the standards approved for motorcycle helmets, with the chinstrap securely fastened. Everyone who rides on a cutter, sled or similar device towed by a snowmobile must also wear a helmet.
Did You Know?
Riding a snowmobile is not permitted on 400-series highways and other high-speed expressways. Snowmobiles are also not allowed on the pavement of public roads where vehicles drive, on the ploughed portion of the shoulder or on public roads where prohibited by municipal law.
To ride legally, snowmobile operators must always carry:
  • Valid driver's licence (or if under age 16, a Snow Vehicle Operator’s Licence)
  • Proof of snowmobile ownership
  • Sled registration (including properly placed registration numbers and validation sticker on sled)
  • Proof of sled insurance (pink slip)
  • 2016 Snowmobile Trail Permit (properly displayed on the sled with permit receipt available) while snowmobiling for recreation on an OFSC Prescribed Trail
The OFSC and OPP also advise snowmobilers to get properly trained. The OFSC offers two courses approved by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO): OFSC Driver Training is a 6-hour classroom style course for snowmobilers aged 12 years and older. The Right Way is an interactive version of Driver Training for adults.
The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario’s highways, trails and waterways through the reduction of preventable injury and death. Initiatives are developed and delivered through the Provincial Traffic Safety Program.
The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.
For more information, click on the following links: 

Hiking Poster joins our Educational Poster Series
In order to best explain our relationship between users and our organizations we have produced an "Ontario Trails and...(Use Group)" poster series. Each member group has a page on the OTC website where OTC explains what we do, and the member explains what they do, so that people can see how we work together.

In addition it is clear that the relationship between major use groups and the Ontario Trails Council is not well understood. We have circulated the poster template to member organizations in the interest of having them add their voice to a better public understanding of their work.

ontario trails and hiking educational poster

As the OTC continues to grow, and we work with the major use groups as they work to secure land for their activity, and as we work with land managers to promote and manage land access, the OTC wants everyone to understand we want resolution to local issues, with the regulatory and legislative changes that makes all our jobs easier, without losing sight of regulations and safety.

Know a user or trail group you'd like to have a poster for?

Ask them if they are a current OTC Member. If they are we'd be happy to produce a poster for everybody to use.

ontario trails dog sledding and trails educational poster
We are also working with Conservation Ontario, and have asked others such as Ontario Invasive Species, County Forest Managers and Ontario Parks to participate in this important public awareness campaign.

For more information contact: Patrick Connor, at 613-484-1140,