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Sheriff shares snowmobile safety

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard reminded snowmobile enthusiasts that snowmobile trails throughout the state, including the approximately 400 miles of trails in Erie County, are officially open, as of Dec. 18. Howard reminded drivers to ride safely, respect the rights of others and to help protect and care for the natural environment, while riding.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office will have its snowmobile detail on patrol, helping to ensure that riders and their passengers remain safe.

All snowmobiles must be insured, unless operated on property owned or leased by the owner of the snowmobile. Registration and proof of insurance must be carried by the snowmobiler. Minors who are holders of snowmobile safety certificates must carry the certificate, while snowmobiling.

It is unlawful to operate a snowmobile in the following conditions: At a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent for the conditions; in a careless, reckless or negligent manner; while intoxicated; without required lights; on tracks of an operating railroad; on private property, without the consent of the owner; within 100 feet of a dwelling and between midnight and 6 a.m, at a speed greater than the minimum speed required to maintain forward motion.

“I encourage drivers to join a snowmobile club,” said Howard.

“Belonging to a snowmobile club makes for better snowmobiling, because members tend to be conscientious, stress safety and they are aware of safe riding issues. They get a pretty big discount on their registration cost, too.”

To reach the Erie County Sheriff’s Snowmobile Unit, residents may call 858-2903.

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