IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATE: LAND USE AGREEMENTS

 

Dear Snowmobilers,

The last few weeks have presented confusing misinformation regarding trail access for some areas of the provincial system.

Land Use Permission agreements are secured by Clubs and Districts; this was again reconfirmed at the latest Board of Governors meeting in January. In some of the affected areas, access to the trails is dependent on the District and Club securing the necessary Land Use Permission (LUP) from the owners of the subject properties. Wherever an LUP has not yet been renewed or granted by the landowner, the trails remain closed. The OFSC has always and continues to consult with and assist Districts and Clubs to ensure key land use agreements do not result in personal liability exposure for our valuable volunteers.

Contrary to claims on various social media platforms, THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE to the OFSC insurance coverage in 20 years. Any information stating our coverage has been altered is false. The truth is, some clubs have recently, through a review process, discovered they have entered into agreements which expose them to liability activities completely unrelated to snowmobile trail operations.

The OFSC does not wish to see any volunteer exposed to such risk.

We strongly encourage our valued permit holders to stay updated and receive correct information through their Club and District board members. We remain optimistic that many of the current LUP challenges will be successfully resolved.

Sincerely,
OFSC Executive Committee

Questions about local land use permission and access can be directed to your District Office. Contact information for districts can be found here: https://www.ofsc.on.ca/find-your-district/

 

10 YEARS OF DATA REVEAL POOR BEHAVIOURS BEHIND MAJORITY OF SNOWMOBILE FATALITIES

(ORILLIA, ON) – With Snowmobile Safety Week underway this week, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has released a ten-year data report on snowmobile fatalities, which officers hope will encourage snowmobilers to avoid the recurring behaviours that contributed to the majority of the incidents over the past decade.

During the past 10 snowmobile seasons (2009-2019), the OPP has investigated 175 snowmobile fatalities throughout the province. Among the findings in the report, excessive speed, loss of control, driving too fast for the conditions and ability impaired by alcohol were listed as the top contributing factors. In fact, alcohol was involved in almost half (45 per cent) of the deaths.

Another compelling fact is that almost half (45 per cent) of the snowmobilers who died were traveling on frozen lakes or rivers at the time of the incident. The circumstances that led to the deaths include intentionally driving onto open water (puddle jumping/water skipping), breaking through the ice and collisions with other snowmobiles and natural landmarks. (See complete data graphic below).

“Whether you are a beginner or seasoned snowmobiler, it is important to avoid all manner of risk while enjoying the thousands of kilometres of diverse, scenic snowmobile trails Ontario has to offer. Maintaining control of your snowmobile at all times and never making alcohol or drugs part of your ride will go a long way to keeping snowmobilers and their passengers safe this season.” — Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation

“Our OFSC Interactive Trail Guide is an excellent tool for keeping snowmobilers well-informed about the status of trails throughout Ontario. The OFSC, in partnership with the OPP is counting on all snowmobilers to take full responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of their passengers and fellow riders this season.” — Andrew WALASEK, Director, Stakeholder Relations, OFSC

The OPP is reminding operators that no ice is safe ice. All riders should ensure they use proper safety equipment in addition to wearing appropriate outerwear for the environmental conditions they may encounter. Snowmobile Safety Week runs from January 18 to 26, 2020.

HELPFUL LINKS

Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs

Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations

OPP Contact: Sergeant Paul Potter, Coordinator, Specialized Patrol Phone: (705) 329-7660

OFSC Contact: Andrew Walasek Director, Stakeholder Relations, Phone: (705) 739-7669

Permit System Under Maintenance

 

UPDATE January 17th – 1:30 pm: Permit System Now Online


On Friday, January 17th the OFSC Online Permit System has been taken offline for maintenance to the servers. Estimated restoration time is 3pm this afternoon. Any customers with urgent permit inquiries are asked to submit inquiries to permits@ofsc.on.ca and a notification will be emailed when the permit system is back online.

All information about Snowmobiling in Ontario can be found at ofsc.on.ca and latest trail availability information can be found at: https://ofsc.evtrails.com/#