(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) and OFSC District 4 are reminding snowmobilers to take personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being when winter arrives.

Safe snowmobiling starts with preparing your sled, gear and equipment before your first ride and maintaining these throughout the season. Good advanced preparations include getting properly trained and knowing the law. Think you have what it takes to be a safe snowmobiler? How many of these important steps do you take before and during your ride?

Service Your Sled – Get your sled professionally serviced before your first ride and keep it well maintained to avoid breakdowns that can spoil your ride or leave you stranded.

Inspect Your Gear & Equipment – Make sure that everything still fits and works properly, inspect it regularly and always check that nothing is missing before you head out on every ride.

Stay Connected – GPS, cell phones, satellite phones and personal trackers can be very useful in avoiding or dealing with emergency situations so always keep them charged and ready. Please remember, cell phone service may not be available in many rural areas.

Carry a Repair Kit – Ensure that you have either the sled manufacturer’s tool kit or one of your own on board, including owner’s manual, spare belt and spark plugs, and a good tow rope.

Prepare for First Aid – Carry a pre-assembled first aid kit, which can be found at outdoor stores or online, and consider taking a first aid course.

Get a Survival Kit – Pre-assembled survival kits are also available at outdoors stores and online, and consider taking a winter survival course to better prepare you for an unexpected day or night in the cold.

Use the Buddy System – Snowmobiling is safer and more fun with riding companions. Avoid riding alone by arranging for friends and family to join you on the trails. At least two snowmobiles should be heading out together.

Refresh Safety Tips– As experienced as you may be, it is always wise to renew your familiarity with your sled’s safety manual and share the Ride Smart messaging on the OFSC website.

The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario’s highways, trails and waterways through the reduction of preventable injury and death. Initiatives are developed and delivered through the Provincial Traffic Safety Program.

The OFSC and District 4 are committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.