Friday, January 7, 2011

Helmets focus of Snowmobile Safety Week



Salt Lake City - Utah State Parks and Recreation is stressing helmets, safety and education as part of Utah Snowmobile Safety Week, January 16 through 22 and throughout the snowmobile season. Two snowmobilers have lost their lives this season, and snowmobile program managers want to prevent additional fatalities and injuries.

“We want everyone to be prepared before heading into the backcountry by knowing laws and rules, riding safely, respecting avalanche dangers, and wearing safety gear,” said Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Education Specialist Ann Evans.

Utah law requires youth eight to 15 to complete the Utah State Parks Know Before You Go! online snowmobile education course before operating on public lands, roads or trails. Anyone 16 or older must have a valid Utah driver’s license or a safety certificate to operate a snowmobile on public land. It is illegal for any child under age eight to operate an OHV on public land. The snowmobile course is available at www.stateparks.utah.gov/ohv.

All youth under age 18 are required by law to wear a properly-fitted and fastened helmet. Utah State Parks strongly recommends that all riders wear helmets.

Evans offers these following safety tips:

- Never ride alone. Always ride with a companion and let others know your plan.

- Check weather reports and avalanche advisories at utahavalanchecenter.org. Be prepared by wearing an avalanche beacon, and carrying a shovel and probe.

- Dress for changing weather conditions. Wear layered clothing to adjust for changing conditions.

- Know basic maintenance procedures. Carry spark plugs, drive belts, a tool kit, and a survival kit that contains a map, compass, flashlight, extra food, extra clothing, sunglasses, first aid kit, pocket knife, waterproof matches, and candles or fire starters.

For more information, visit www.stateparks.utah.gov/ohv  . Stay on the trail!

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