Pent up snowmobilers let loose on the weekend
Officers from the Collingwood and The Blue Mountains detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police were joined by members of the Central Region OPP Snow machine, All terrain vehicle and Vessels Enforcement (SAVE) Team to patrol area snowmobile trails over the weekend.
The fresh snow that the area has received in recent days has helped in the opening of several area snowmobile trails and numerous snowmobilers were out and about taking advantage of the great conditions.
Officers conducted RIDE initiatives on several trails in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains ensuring that those out on their sleds were sober and licenced to operate their snowmobiles as well as having valid insurance and registration.
During those patrols officers issued five speeding tickets, one of which was for speeding at 80 km/h in a posted 20 km/h zone on a shared trail utilized by hikers and some walking their dogs and with residences in close proximity.
Officers also issued three charges for riding off the designated trails and three more were ticketed for having an improper muffler.
Several individuals were found without trail passes and charged accordingly and one person was found operating a snowmobile with a suspended licence.
A total of 27 charges were laid for the weekend patrol initiative.
Officers received very positive feedback from area snowmobilers and residents living near the trails with the mutual goal of increasing snowmobile safety and to raise awareness of laws that apply to snowmobiling in general.
A good reminder to all snowmobilers is to remain on designated trails and avoid operating their snowmobiles on private property without the property owner's permission.
Many designated snowmobile trails are on private property however it is done with prior land use permission of the property owner, as such going off the designated trail can damage the land and the owner could revoke the land use permission and in turn eliminate that portion of the trail system.