12 people across Ontario have lost their lives snowmobiling
COLLINGWOOD, ONT. -- Twelve people across Ontario have lost their lives while snowmobiling this season, prompting police to urge sledders to slow down and keep right.
"Just like you would on any roadway. Pretend that trail is divided into two lanes. Stick to your side and slow down on those corners," says OPP Save Team's Const. Ryan Lehr.
Four people have died locally, and two suffered life-altering injuries in snowmobile-related incidents in recent weeks. Three of those were on the ice, and three on roadways.
The OPP's Save Team has been enforcing speed limits and making safety checks on the trails, saying road crossings require extra vigilance.
"Stop, stand up on your machine, make yourself as visible as possible. Take that extra time. You think it's clear, check again, then proceed," Lehr says.
Kevin Hagen, manager of Mid Ontario Snowmobile Trails, says the number of snowmobilers is up by about 25 per cent this season.
Hagen says to stick to marked trails. "The message is the trails are the safest place to ride your snowmobile."
Most Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails around Georgian Bay are open, except for the Parry Sound district, which remains closed by order of the region's health unit.