Snowmobilers are finally able to take advantage of the snowy conditions in the southeast. However, they still need to keep safety in mind.

"It's always a good idea to plan your trip," advises Cpl Craig Park. "Let someone know where you're going. I always say it's good to ride in pairs. Stay on marked trails, know where you're going."

"Dress for the conditions and wear the appropriate equipment." 

"Once the temperatures start to warm up, check the condition of the ice. Always keep that in mind. Water starts moving and the ice changes in different areas."

He added that there are several rules that the casual sledder may not be aware of.

"It's mandatory now for all young riders born January 1, 1989, or later that operate a snowmobile in public areas, they have to complete a safety course. 

Riding a snowmobile is the same responsibility as driving a car and can carry the same penalties. 

"Don't mix alcohol when driving. It carries the same weight as a driving a vehicle on a road."

Signs posted along trails should also be treated the same as if you were driving a car on the road.

"They carry the same consequences. At the end of the day, it comes down to respecting the trails and respecting the other riders of the trail system. It may not see the same enforcement as the roads but the same risks apply."

Cpl Park added that they often receive complaints from upset landowners who have snowmobilers venture off the trails onto their land. 

"It can be quite costly to the landowners when these things happen."

But above all, he encourages all riders to enjoy the season while they can.

"It's good to see people get out and enjoy winter. Follow the rules and stay safe."

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