OFSC Launches Ride Smart 2021 For Safe & Healthy Snowmobiling

Together We Can Help Keep Trails & Services Open This Winter

What’s Included:
• Doing Our Part
• 4 Steps For Stopping
• Riding Prepared
• Preventing The Spread

(Barrie, ON: November 5, 2020) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is committed to delivering the best possible trail riding experiences for snowmobilers this winter. In accordance with the latest information from Public Health Ontario, the OFSC’s pandemic response plan is enabling our districts, clubs & volunteers to do everything possible to make the provincial trail system available to ride, while respecting and protecting the snowbelt communities, hospitality providers and residents that serve OFSC trails.

Doing Our Part To Keep Trails & Services Open – To make this work, we snowmobilers must also do part to prevent transmission of the virus on every ride. While we all know that the riding itself is relatively safe, the risk increases considerably whenever we stop along the way. So, everyone needs to practice socially responsible behaviours when interacting with each other or visiting trail accessible services and communities. Not doing so could result in closed services, limited access to communities and possibly even trail restrictions during the season.

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OFSC Updates Snowmobilers On Flex Trails & Recent Pandemic Developments

Flex Trails Provide Permit Buyers With Many Opportunities To Hit The Snow This Winter

What’s Included:
Trails To Ride 2021 Plan Components
• Pandemic & OFSC Trails
• Flex Trails & How They Work
• Looking Ahead to Winter

(Barrie, ON: October 22, 2020) – In prior releases, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) announced and updated its comprehensive Trails To Ride 2021 plan, focused on working through these challenging times to deliver the best possible trail riding experiences on as many trails as possible this winter with the cooperation of all snowmobilers.

Components of OFSC Plan: As previously reported, Trails To Ride 2021 includes several flexible, complimentary and integrated strategies for province-wide trail preparations, groomer fleet operations, and permit sales, plus pandemic response for the health and safety of volunteers, snowmobilers, landowners and snowbelt communities and enhanced communications with all stakeholders. The OFSC pandemic response includes Flex Trails (see below) to provide permit holders with as many alternative trail riding opportunities as possible if needed during these uncertain times.

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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