OPP warn of snowmobile dangers following spike in fatalities

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
OPP warn of snowmobile dangers following spike in fatalities

Napanee –¬†Jeff Vanderveer has been around snowmobiles since the day he was born.
A certified sled racer, Vanderveer knows a thing or two about riding safely and conditions out on the trails.

Jeff Vanderveer/Ridge Runners
“We’re going to have a lot of people who haven’t been out a lot so they’re excited to get out and now it’s a short season so you’re going to have a lot of rush to use the trails.”

And that rush could easily lead to accidents and in some cases deaths.
So far this year provincial police are reporting a spike in the number of snowmobile-related deaths.
There have been 13 fatalities in Ontario this season compared to 8 at this time last year.
They’re being linked to riding on unsafe ice, speeding, driving impaired and just not paying attention.

Cst Juliane Porritt:
‘We’ve actually had two incidents in Napanee which haven’t led to death but they were due to unsafe ice conditions so yeah I would say it’s concerning at this point in time.”

None of the deaths has occurred locally but police say that’s likely due to the lack of snow across Eastern Ontario.

Although many of the OFSC trails are open, riders are being asked to exercise caution.

Jeff Vanderveer/Ridge Runners:
“The conditions aren’t good. A little bit of snow but it’s fluffy and it’s just the perfect condition for hiding things under the snow.”

Like rocks, culverts, logs and just about anything you could get a ski caught under.

Cst Juliane Porritt:
“Wearing a helmet is really important, obey the speed signs, follow marked trails and don’t drink and drive.”

Seems like common sense but with the recent string of deaths police say they’ll continue to encourage good rider behaviour.

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