The OPP says there have been 175 snowmobile fatalities in the province in the last decade and 55 of them have happened in the Northeast Region.

Media Relations Co-ordinator Sgt. Carlo Berardi says excessive speed and alcohol or drug use are the two main contributing factors.

He says with that in mind OPP officers on snowmobile safety week which is underway will be checking on sled drivers to see if they’ve been drinking.

“We are checking randomly for alcohol. Since the legislation changed we don’t need evidence of alcohol consumption. People should be aware that they could be asked for an alcohol screening,” he says.

He says in the province 45 % of the snowmobilers died through alcohol or drug use while in the northeast it’s 40 %.

Excessive speed played a factor as well in 40 % of the deaths in the northeast.

As well, Berardi says 44 % of the deaths in the Northeast have occurred on a lake or a river.

” I know people get impatient and want to get out there with those machines. They should be waiting for the conditions to be appropriate for the use of the machines. Thin ice is everywhere especially when there’s moving water,” he says.

Berardi says the best safety tips include think about what you’re doing, let someone know where you’re going, stay on the trails, slow down and don’t use alcohol or drugs.


(Photo by station staff)

Filed under: opp, snowmobile