OPP preaching patience to snowmobilers eager to hit the trails


With the amount of snow on the ground in our region, many people are anxious to get their snowmobiles out on the trails.

The OPP, however, are saying not so fast.

South Bruce OPP Constable Kevin Martin explains two factors that determine whether you can take your sled out on the trails.



Martin adds two of the biggest factors in the calls they receive about snowmobile crashes are speed and alcohol or drugs.

Here is a full list for people to consider when operating a snowmobile in Ontario:

  • Snowmobile drivers must carry their driver’s license or snowmobile operator’s card when they ride. If your license is under suspension, you can’t drive a snowmobile either.
  • Your license, ownership and proof of insurance must be provided to a police officer on demand.
  • A snowmobile driver must stop for police when signaled.
  • Speed limits must be obeyed. A snowmobile driver can be charged for speeding.
  • A snowmobile must not be driven along the serviced portion of the roadway, except to cross at a right angle. This includes the shoulder of the road.
  • Impaired driving laws apply to snowmobiles anywhere in Canada whether on private property or not. Don’t mix alcohol and snowmobiling. The South Bruce OPP and the OFSC have a zero tolerance for impaired operation.
  • Snowmobiles must not be driven on private property without the owner’s permission; violators may be subject to a charge of Trespassing.
  • A proper muffler and an approved, properly fit helmet are required by law.
  • Drivers of a snowmobile directly or indirectly involved in a reportable collision are required to call police as soon as possible.
  • A trail permit is required to use approved snowmobile trails, when they are declared open for use.
  • No ice is safe ice. Remember that you can’t tell the strength of ice by its appearance. The best advice is to avoid frozen waterways.
  • Dress appropriately and let someone know where you plan to ride and for how long.
  • The OPP takes search and rescue very seriously. Make sure someone knows your planned route so that rescuers can find you. Time is of the essence when someone is missing, especially during winter months.
  • Snowmobile owners are encouraged to check out snowmobile by-laws with the Municipality that they ride in.