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Police offer snowmobile safety tips as season kicks into gear


As another snowmobile season kicks into gear, Yellowknife RCMP are offering residents tips on how to stay safe while out on the trails.

In a news release issued by Mounties Monday, police say there are some basic safety rules often ignored by snowmobilers.

Const. Jason Thibault, coordinator of the Yellowknife RCMP detachment’s Snowmobile Patrol - a branch of the force that conducts patrols during the winter months alongside representatives from the city’s Municipal Enforcement Division (MED), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) - offers the following safety tips:

  • Always make sure to check the weather forecast and plan for additional days on the land.
  • Know the area you’re travelling in. If you’re not familiar with the area, reach out to an experienced snowmobiler who is.
  • Dress warmly and wear bright-coloured clothing.
  • Learn how to spot the symptoms of hypothermia and what to do if you experience them while travelling.
  • Always wear a helmet when snowmobiling within city limits. Wear one outside of the city, even though it’s not mandatory.
  • Always carry a means of communication. If you travel outside cellular phone coverage, carry an emergency communication device like a satellite phone, a spot or 2-way satellite communication device.
  • Tell people where you’re going. Let them know of your destination and the route you plan on taking. If you’re changing your plans at the last minute, tell a few people beforehand.
  • Operate your snowmobile within your capacities and never drive while intoxicated.
  • Familiarize yourself with the territory’s All-terrain Vehicles Act before hopping on your machine.

“The RCMP wish for everyone a safe ride, that’s why we came up with the patrol. It’s an occasion for us and our partners to check on people, explain safety rules and prevent incidents” states Const. Thibault.