RECOMMENDED ICE THICKNESS FOR GROOMER CROSSING
Gary McLennan from the Ministry of Highways who monitors ice thickness
for winter road crossings forvehicles has advised the following :
1. WHITE ICE - Usually found on rivers and streams - cause by melting
and freezing and slush build-up.
Recommended minimum thickness :
a) 30cm - 5,900 lbs
b) 20cm - 2,600 lbs
2. BLUE ICE - Found on lakers and larger bodies of water - formed by natural
Recommended minimum thickness :
a) 30cm - 11,800 lbs
b) 20cm - 5,200 lbs
THERE IS SOME SAFETY LIMITS BUILT INTO THESE MEASUREMENTS.
BEWARE THE WHITE SILAGE BALES!
DO NOT RIDE ON THEM AND STAY AWAY FROM AREAS THAT HAVE THEM!
In addition to the requirement to be supervised, all young riders born January 1, 1989 or later must complete a safety course before being allowed to operate a snowmobile in public areas.
The Saskatchewan Safety Council offers the 8 hour program designed to: increase safety and awareness, prevent snowmobile collisions, become a defensive snowmobile rider, develop proper snowmobile rider attitude and behavior and increase enjoyment while snowmobiling.
Everyone who operates a snowmobile is encouraged to take the snowmobile safety course. Family enrollment and participation is highly desirable and beneficial.
If you would like more information, please call the Saskatchewan Safety Council at 306-757-3197.
Please be advised that there are three recent changes to The Snowmobile Act that affect snowmobile riders in Saskatchewan. Please read the following new rules that are effective immediately, to determine which changes may apply to you.
1) Safety Course Requirements:
All snowmobile operators who were born on or after Jan 1, 1989 are now required to complete a snowmobile safety training course before operating a snowmobile on public land. (You must be at least 12 years old to enroll in a safety course.)
This change will ensure that all Saskatchewan snowmobilers, over time, have the necessary training to operate a snowmobile safely.
SGI and it's snowmobile safety partners, feel this will be a much more effective strategy than imposing mandatory training for all operators, regardless of experience.
A snowmobile operator with a class 7 driver's licence (learner's permit) must now be supervised or accompanied by a qualified driver when operating on the travelled portion of a public road. This is in addition to the provision that requires them to take a safety course.
3) Snowmobile Operators Who Turn 16 Years Old:
When an individual without a driver's licence turns 16 years of age, they are no longer required to be supervised when operating a snowmobile on public land, providing that they have completed a safety course.
SGI is confident that the recent amendments to The Snowmobile Act will ensure the safety of snowmobile riders throughout the province.
Snowmobile Safety Tips
The SSA is please to provide the following tips to help you overcome early season mishaps that can cause body injury and sled damage. These tips will save you injury and money. On a snowmobile, the same rules of the road and penalties apply as for driving a car, including possible fines, loss of driver's license, criminal record and/or imprisonment.
Click HERE to print a copy of the Safety Tips listed below
If someone goes through the ice, you must act quickly. The longer the person is in the water, the shorter their chance of survival is. Do not step on the ice. Tell the person who has fallen in to grab as far up on the edge as they can, and kick their feet. The kicking will help them stay afloat. Yell for help and quickly look for something to pull them to safety use a scarf, jacket, belt, or tree branch. Lie down as close as safely possible to the open hole and reach with whatever you have. If other people are around, you can form a human chain. When you get the person up on the ice, do not stand up. Crawl a number of yards away from the hole. After you pull someone out, get them warm and dry as soon as possible and seek medical attention. REMEMBER: Just because the ice is thick in one spot, does not mean it will be all over. The best rule to follow is If you don't know, don't Go!
Most snowmobiling accidents result from the operator error, overconfidence or inexperience. The main contributing factors are: alcohol, speed, darkness, unfamiliar terrain, or ice, and, off-trail riding on roads or lakes. Snowmobiling requires constant care, caution and attention. DON'T DRINK AND RIDE. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your perceptions, slow your reaction time and limit your ability to control your sled at that critical moment when your life is in the balance. Moreover, snowmobiling often takes you to remote areas, miles from help, increasing your risk of permanent injury or death after an accident. And contrary to popular opinion, alcohol increases your susceptibility to cold and hypothermia, thereby reducing your chances of survival if you have to wait long for help to arrive. For a copy of the booklet for Safe Snowmobiling in Saskatchewan, contact the SSA office at 729-3500 or 1-800-499-7533 (Sk. Only).
- Make sure there is enough snow cover to ensure your sled is getting enough lubrication.
- Check condition of your snowmobile clothing and ensure you have adequate accessories for warmth.
- Stay on marked or familiar trails.
- Obey all trail signs, markers and speed limits.
- Know and use correct hand signals.
- Learn the language of snowmobile trail signage.
- Service your sled for maintenance and repair. Check your belt, track, oil, grease, change old fuel, ensure tail and headlights are working, place reflective material on sled for night riding.
- Put together a safety kit and store it in the trunk of your sled. You will need a tow rope, first aid kit, survival food, spark plugs and extra snowmobile belt.
- Plan your snowmobile ride. Tell someone where you're going so someone can find you if you are in trouble.
- Obtain a snowmobile trail map of the area that you are riding in.
- Learn safe snowmobiling. It is mandatory for all young riders born January 1, 1989, or later operating a snowmobile in public areas to complete a safety course. Contact the Saskatchewan Safety Council, Regina, Sk. at 306-757-3197.
- Make sure your sled fits you. Can you start and lift the sled on your own? Is it comfortable? Can you maneuver it easily?
- Join a snowmobile club in your area. Clubs sponsor outings, build and maintain
- Always wear an approved snowmobile helmet with face shield with no cracks in either. Open face and closed face helmets are available. Electric face shields are available and will not fog.
- Wear a balaclava (nylon, fleece or wool), snowmobile gloves, mitts, pants, jacket or one-piece snowmobile suit, boots and heavy outdoor socks. Buy the warmest gear available; don't pinch pennies on snowmobile clothing and accessories.
- Ensure the back of your jacket has reflective material. This will help the person following to have visual sight of you at all times at night. Also, place a reflective decal on the back of your helmet.
- Wear a wrist mirror. This is an excellent safety device which enables you to check behind you without turning your body and causing your sled to swerve.
-DON'T DRINK AND RIDE
-Do not ride alone or if temperature are colder than -25 degrees Celcius.
-Do not start your sled and take off right away. Let the sled warm up as this could prevent burning down your engine.
-Do not use excessive speed.
Before you attempt any maintenance or repair of your snowmobile, you should review the owner's manual and decide just how much mechanical ability you have. Don't attempt repairs which you do not understand completely. You might end up with a pile of parts and no snowmobile. If repair is beyond your ability, you should have your local snowmobile dealer take care of it for you. It is important to check your machine often, but you should not make adjustments which could endanger you and others when you are riding. Once you make an adjustment on your snowmobile, remember to check it periodically throughout the season. Out on a trail, your snowmobile could have a problem which could stop it completely. For this reason, YOU SHOULD NEVER TRAVEL ALONE.
1. Watch for small trees that may be bent down hill as well as missing branches on the uphill side. Those trees have in all likelihood been under a slide in the past.
2. Never put more than one sled at a time on a hill when high-marking.
3. Always carry a shovel, probe and KNOW how to use them. The first ten minutes is crucial!
4. Be aware of sign of activity, snow load, wind load, shaeffing and the warning signs of an unstable hill as well as the slope degrees most prone to slide (ie. 25 to 45 degrees).
5. Always check on the local Avalanche Warnings everyday you ride.
6. Always let someone know where and when you are riding for the day.
7. Carry matches, flashlight, saw, first aid kit, survival equipment (including water and food, etc.) in case you ever have to spend the night or have trouble.
8. Always know where you are and your way back.
THESE ARE TIPS ONLY. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT EVERYONE TAKE AN AVALANCHE COURSE PRIOR TO RIDING!
PERSONS FOUND IN VIOLATION ARE SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING FINES:
|Sec 3(1)(a) Snowmobile Act: Unregistered snowmobile||$100.00|
|Sec 3 (1) (b) Snowmobile Act: Fail to display plate||$100.00|
|Sec 13 Snowmobile Act: Fail to produce registration||$100.00|
|Sec 15 (1) Snowmobile Act: Operate without a license||$150.00|
|Sec 17 Snowmobile Act: Fail to produce license||$100.00|
|Sec 22 Snowmobile Act: Operate a snowmobile without wearing a helmet||$125.00|
|Sec 23 (2) Snowmobile Act: Operating a snowmobile in excess of the regulated speed||$150.00|
|Sec 24 Snowmobile Act: Improper Towing||
The speed limit along designated trails is 80km/h.
If you are allowing your child with a Class 7 Drivers License (Learners Permit) to operate a sled, they must be supervised or be accompanied by a qualified driver when operating a sled on the traveled portion of a public road and they must have completed the snowmobile safety training course offered by the Saskatchewan Safety Council (757-3197).
The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association (SSA) and the Saskatchewan Trappers Association are working together to inform the public to be aware of traps, snares and trap lines. The SSA advises snowmobilers not to tamper, remove or damage traps or snares. The SSA would like snowmobilers to keep off trap lines altogether. PLEASE USE THE SNOWMOBILE TRAILS.
UNDER THE WILDLIFE ACT NO. 198124(2):
NO PERSON SHALL:
a) touch or interfere with any legally placed traps or snares, unless he or she is authorized by the owner;
The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association advises that the Saskatchewan Trappers Association has brought this matter to the attention of Sask. Environment and they will be monitoring and watching for individuals tampering with trap lines. Individuals that are tampering with traps, snares and trap lines are giving all snowmobilers a bad name.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS:TRAP LINES ARE NOT TRAILS
PLEASE STAY OFF TRAP LINES WHEN SNOWMOBILING
REMEMBER IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEN DON'T GO!
A MESSAGE FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN SNOWMOBILE ASSOCIATION
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT THE SSA