Press Release –
International Snowmobile Safety Week, January 10 to 16
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) wants all sledders to ride alcohol-free. On the occasion of International Snowmobile Safety Week, January 11 to 16, the OFSC announces its new Zero Alcohol Campaign, which urges every snowmobiler to take personal responsibility for choosing to be 100% alcohol-free prior to going snowmobiling or during any ride.
Zero Alcohol is especially timely for Ontario snowmobilers given the increased likelihood of automatic licence suspensions on the trail with new enforcement of the .05 to .08 warn range.
“Zero Alcohol is primarily a peer-pressure campaign. Most snowmobilers ride responsibly and alcohol-free, and return home safely after every ride,” said Eric Sanuter, OFSC safety manager. “Our Zero Alcohol position recognizes and supports this existing behaviour and formalizes a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .00% while riding as a clear and acceptable choice for the entire snowmobiling community.”
According to incident data, alcohol consumption is a major contributor to many snowmobiling tragedies. Thus, the OFSC also strongly encourages every snowmobiler to commit to riding only with companions who practice Zero Alcohol as part of their own regular safe riding habit.
Although Zero Alcohol is not a legal requirement, the OFSC points out that unlike driving an automobile on engineered roads, snowmobiling is an off road activity that occurs in an unpredictable and uncontrollable natural setting. Consequently, operating a snowmobile requires peak concentration and reaction at all times and even a small amount of alcohol can cause tragedy.
Studies show that impairment starts from the first drink and that a person with a BAC level of .08%, is 11 times more likely to get killed while driving a car than at .00% BAC. When applied to operating a snow machine, these facts alone make Zero Alcohol the smart choice for safer snowmobiling.