Saturday, 19 December 2009

Know the law, the land and water

I post the most recent photos of the lake as it begins its freezeover. You can see from the series of shots that in 4 days (Dec. 15, 16, 18) the lake appeared frozen. Walking on the lakeshore ice, it is only a couple of inches deep at the shore, there were cracks and shifts.  

The OPP and OFSC are vigilant in promoting safe snowmobiling. S.T.O.P.
For more information on the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, visit for more laws!

To help educate Ontario snowmobilers, the OPP and the OFSC are providing the following checklist. A compliant snowmobile operator must always have on their person or sled:
- 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)
- Approved snowmobile helmet (for each rider)
- 2010 Snowmobile Trail Permit (properly displayed on the sled) with permit receipt

In addition, the rules of the road apply to this sport:

  • speeding, 
  • failing to stop at a road crossing and
  • driving with blood/alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit.
Failure to comply with the law carries penalties including fines, loss of driver's licence, criminal charges and/or imprisonment.

Volunteers In ActionI have found that the snowmobile clubs give specific information about Muskoka trails, whether they are open, or closed, safe and groomed. They do a fine job of this! Yet, with the huge amount of snow we had (between 60 and 140 cm in places) grooming has been very difficult. There are those who do not pay attention, and they take risks. "It won't happen to me!"

Many volunteers put time in to ensure that trails are safe. The (Muskoka) Snowcrest Club says on its website:

Safe Riders"With special thanks to our Groomer-Operators, Club Volunteers, Permit Distributors for all your hard work and dedication and especially to our Landowners, without whom our trails would not exist!!!".

Yet accidents continue to occur.
The first incidents of this season total 4. The prairies have seen terribly cold weather, yet the lakes are not frozen. It takes time for the land and the water to totally freeze over.

Other Muskoka Snowmobile Resources:


This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jenn: That third photo of the rock in the lake is really cool.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks, fishin' guy! Yours are always fabulousl. It'll be my header once I get bored with the current one!

Lucy said...

In my youth, I've driven thousands of mile by snowmobile and even though we tried to be a safe as possible, I would frighten myself every couple of weeks! Everything fun is dangerous though and the good parts kept me at it!