Press Release –
Less Than 6% of Fatalities Occur on Open OFSC Trails
With snowmobilers riding more than 150 million cumulative kilometres this winter, the vast majority arrive home safely after every ride.
To maintain this safety record, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs reminds snowmobilers that the safest place to ride for the rest of the season continues to be with care and control on open OFSC trails.
The OFSC joins the Ontario Provincial Police in their recent call for snowmobilers to make smart choices and for the vast majority of snowmobilers who are law-abiding people to take more responsibility for their peers.
This safety message is particularly important because OFSC snowmobiling has attracted more participants this year thanks to renewed interest and a long winter.
Although this has meant more riding activity, the OFSC is pleased to report several positive developments.
To date, only 6% of all fatalities have occurred on open OFSC snowmobile trails…94% happened off trail, where the riding risk is considerably greater.
In relation to the rise in overall participation, the rate of fatalities this winter has not increased. And so far, fatalities among youth has reduced to zero, compared to six under 18 tragedies last winter.
The OFSC also notes that 70% of this winter’s fatalities occurred after dark. Off-trail riding, riding after dark, excessive speed and alcohol are each well-documented and preventable causes of snowmobiling incidents. They result from riders making foolish choices and from their peers continuing to condone their risky behaviour.
Given that the majority of fatalities this winter are among adults over 33 years of age who should know better, the OFSC renews its call for family and friends to help save lives and reduce injuries by speaking out against irresponsible riding and urging riders to stick to open OFSC trails as weather and snow condition permit.
The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.