The winter so far is shaping up to be a good one for outdoor enthusiasts. Motorsports like snowmobiling and ATV riding are popular across Halifax Regional Municipality. HRM Partners in Policing hope those who take part in such activities are able to do so in a way that is fun and safe for everyone. “There’s no question, when you get out into the less populated areas, you see a lot of people on ATVs and snow machines,” said Cpl. Scott MacRae of Halifax District RCMP. “Most of the riders out there are responsible. But those who are not can get themselves in a big pile of trouble in a short amount of time.”
Ice safety is a big concern, especially at this time of year. The Red Cross recommends an ice thickness of 25 centimetres, or 10 inches, for safe snowmobiling. The same guide applies for riding an ATV on the ice. Many of the bodies of water in HRM which are monitored for ice thickness are reporting thin ice or open water. A complete list can be found on the HRM website at http://www.halifax.ca/real_property/ice/index.asp.
Another area of concern for police and those who live along busy snowmobile and ATV trails is noise. Police ask riders to be considerate of the fact that there are a lot of people with young families living in areas like Porter’s Lake, St. Margaret’s Bay, Herring Cove and Sambro. What may be an acceptable level of noise in the early afternoon becomes a major frustration in the later evening hours.
This year, International Snowmobile Safety Week runs from January 13 to January 19. To mark the week, the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia (SANS) has posted the following tips to its website:
1. Snowmobiling and alcohol don't mix, don't drink and ride.
2. Know before you go! Always check local ice conditions.
3. When night riding, slow down! Expect the unexpected.
4. Ride safe, stay on the trail. Respect private property.
5. Know the risks, be prepared and make every trip a round one.
6. Cross with care. Don't become road kill.
7. Snowmobiling is a fun family sport. Join us today.
8. Ride smart, ride right. Stay in control.
9. One is the loneliest number. Never ride alone.
10. Promote your right to ride. Get involved.
11. Smart riders are safe riders. Take snowmobile safety training.
Winter can be a great time to get out and enjoy all that Nova Scotia has to offer. By keeping a few safety tips in mind, HRM Partners in Policing believe it can be done in a way that’s safe and fun for everyone.