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Multiple snowmobilers charged over Family Day weekend as OPP step up trail patrols

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Sled drivers were out in full force after the weekend's snow accumulation.

So were the police.

Snowmobile patrol officers from the Southern Georgian Bay OPP were out and visible to riders on open North Simcoe area Ontario Federation of Snowmobiles Club (OFSC ) trails last weekend.

Patrollers were checking riders for signs of impairment, and their sleds for required 2024 registration validation stickers, proof of insurance, and 2024 OFSC trail passes.

Officers were also listening for modified exhaust systems and kept an eye out for sleds trespassing on closed trails or farmers' planted fields, as these two issues are well known to raise the ire of landowners and neighbours near busy trail routes.

OPP, Simcoe County Paramedics and Georgian Bay Fire Services attended a two-sled head-on crash on Lost Channel above the Big Chute on Friday.

The crash claimed the life of a 50-year-old Puslinch man.

As a result of the patrols over the Family Day weekend, officers checked over 88 sleds and riders, resulting in 15 riders being educated and 10 riders being charged for various offences involving modified exhaust systems, sled registration validation, OFSC trail passes, and speeding.

Police caution riders that the sport of snowmobiling has many associated inherent risks, dangers and hazards caused by the changing terrain and environment, your machine, and others on their machines, to name a few.

To help reduce these risks, police say riders are reminded to always check the Interactive Trail Guide before heading on the trails and to wear the required safety equipment, including floater suits when travelling on frozen water surfaces.

Police also recommend a fully charged cell phone to let a family member know where you're heading and a return home time.

They also advise loading a location app on your cell phone, such as What3Words and the Interactive Trail Guide.

OPP remind snowmobilers that 'No ice is safe ice' and offer its OPP Aviation Services video from Monday showing open water in Midland. 

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