Officials Offer Tips On Staying Safe On The TrailsPosted: Updated:
It's a big week for snowmobiling and the crowds have come to Lewis County.
“We're doing some snowmobiling, enjoying the day in this tremendous amount of snow here,” snowmobiler John Bluy said.
But before the sleds hit the trails, the Lewis County sheriff's office and other law enforcement officials are warning riders to stay safe.
“Every year we have accidents, every year we have a fatality,” Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli said. “We'd like not to have that in Lewis County this year if we can."
According to the Lewis County sheriff's office, in the 2016-2017 season there were 37 snowmobile accidents in the county. Two of them were fatal and 18 of them were speed related.
"Speed is the number-one factor for cause of accidents,” Deputy Michael Leviker said. “People, they don't stay in control because they're going too fast, they're not paying attention out there."
In order to prevent accidents this season, Carpinelli is reminding riders to follow a few important rules.
First, follow the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit on the trails, limit the use of alcohol when stopping at restaurants and bars, and stay on the groomed trails..
"Not going off where you're not supposed to be and ruining that for everybody else,” he said, “because these are private lands, most of them are, that the trails go through."
Another reminder comes from the New York State Snowmobile Association: stay off waterways.
“Roads are marked, waterways are not,” the association’s Craig LaPlante said. “We had numerous accidental deaths last year due to drowning, people not paying attention to the ice conditions."
Carpinelli says the sheriff's office and other law enforcement agencies will be out on the trails enforcing the law and making sure this season stays a safe one.