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

OPP REPORT SEASON’S FIRST SNOWMOBILE FATALITY, ISSUE WARNING WITH OFSC AHEAD OF HOLIDAYS

(ORILLIA, ON) –. With mild temperatures forecast for many parts of the province into the holidays, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) are warning snowmobilers to stay off closed OFSC trails. The OPP is also urging riders to stay off frozen waterways as they too remain unsafe.

The OPP responded to its first snowmobile fatality of the season earlier this month after a man lost control of his snowmobile. The tragic death is the latest reminder that snowmobiling comes with an unpredictable environment and unique set of risks.

Excessive speed, driving too fast for the conditions losing control and alcohol are among the top contributing factors in OPP-investigated snowmobile fatalities every season.

Snowmobilers are reminded to regularly check the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide for real-time trail availability information over the holidays and throughout the season. OFSC prescribed trails are subject to laws governed under the Ontario Motorized Snow Vehicles Act and enforced by police throughout the province.

The OPP remains committed to saving lives on Ontario highways, waterways and trails.

The OFSC wants to remind snowmobilers to Go Safe when they Go Snowmobiling Ontario!

 

LEARN MORE

 Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs

 Snowmobile Safety in Ontario

 

OPP Contact:         Sgt. Paul Potter, Coordinator, Specialized Patrol

Phone:                       (705) 329-7660

 

OFSC Contact:      Andrew Walasek Director, Stakeholder Relations,

Phone:                      (705) 739-7669