The Vermont State Police disseminate press releases for significant criminal or public safety incidents and arrests, but it is not intended to document every public contact or response to a call-for-service. If you have a question regarding an incident or case, please contact your local state police barracks or the public information officer. Please note press releases are available on this blog for 6 months following their public release. Please contact the public information officer if you need access to one that is older.

Search This Blog

January 29, 2020

Vermont State Police News Release on Snowmobile Safety

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

VERMONT STATE POLICE

WILLISTON

NEWS RELEASE

 

Media Contact:

Sgt. Trevor Carbo, Marine Division Commander

Trevor.Carbo@vermont.gov

 

WILISTON, VT. (Wednesday, January 29, 2020) — As part of the ongoing and continual efforts in keeping Vermont snowmobiling a safe and enjoyable recreational sport for all, the Vermont State Police would like to send the following snowmobile safety reminders:

 

TAKE A SNOWMOBILE SAFETY COURSE

Vermont law requires those born after July 1, 1983, who are 12 years of age and older to take and pass an approved snowmobile safety course before operating on the State Snowmobile Trail System (SSTS.) “Today’s Snowmobile Rider in Vermont” snowmobile safety course is available in both a classroom setting and an approved online snowmobile safety course.  Both can be found by visiting:

 

https://vsp.vermont.gov/auxiliary/snowmobile

https://vtvast.org/snowmobile-safety-course/

 

CHECK WEATHER AND TRAIL CONDITIONS

Checking weather and trail conditions will assist in identifying ideal trail riding conditions. It can help with identifying adequate clothing needs for the ride or even planning your ride for another day.

 

CONDUCT A SAFETY CHECK ON YOUR SNOWMOBILE

Inspect your snowmobile before heading out on the trails. Having a small tool kit and spare parts can help avoid a breakdown in cutting your ride short. Check fuel, oil, and drive belt etc. before taking off.

 

WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHES AND PROTECTIVE GEAR

Staying warm will make your ride more enjoyable and safer. Appropriate clothing such as insulated bibs and a coat, along with dressing in layers will provide the most protection against the elements. Polyester blends assist in wicking any moisture away from your body. Avoid cotton as it can freeze should it become damp or wet. Wear goggles or a face shield if you do not have a full-face helmet. Vermont law requires riders wear a DOT approved helmet. Whether you are driving or a passenger, a DOT helmet is required. Hockey style or other sporting helmets for young children are not legal and do not provide adequate protection.

 

FIRST AID KIT

A basic first aid kit should contain items such as waterproof matches, bandages, tourniquet, flashlight, compass, map, and blanket, etc.

 

BRING A FRIEND / FILE A PLAN

Snowmobiling with a friend is a safe and enjoyable way to ride Vermont’s SSTS. Having someone with you will assist you should you suffer a breakdown, or you get involved in a collision. You should always tell someone where you are going and when you should be expected to return.

 

SAFE OPERATION

  • Always operate in a safe and controlled manner. Use caution and drive at a reduced speed, particularly while maneuvering hills and corners.
  • Do not operate while impaired. Alcohol and drug consumption increase your risk of injuries and fatalities while snowmobiling. Remember, if you feel different, you drive different. 
  • Avoid frozen bodies of water. Vermont has experienced unstable temperatures creating very hazardous and unpredictable ice. No ice is safe ice, and ice should be avoided while riding a snowmobile.
  • “Hands On For Safety” is a safe method of operating your snowmobile. The use of hand signals for noting riding numbers in a group or simply waving hello to another rider are discouraged. One can never predict another rider or group of riders coming up on another group. Hand signals for this manner can potentially be misleading. Riders should always assume an encounter with a rider from the opposite direction and should keep their hands on the handlebars.

 

RESPECT THE TRAILS

Off-trail riding or riding after dark are some of the leading causes of trail closures. The SSTS is operated on mostly private lands generously opened by landowners during the snowmobile season. Please respect the landowners and these trails to ensure a lasting trail system.

 

 

Have an enjoyable and safe snowmobile season.

 

###

 

 

 

Lieutenant Tara Thomas

Vermont State Police

Safety Programs Unit Commander

2777 St. George Road

Williston, VT 05495

Ph: 802-872-4045

Fax: 802-872-4088

Tara.L.Thomas@vermont.gov