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Snow Machine Safety

The Greater Sudbury Police Service feels it is important to work together with parents and the community to better educate children about snowmobiling rules. By discussing the snowmobiling rules with children, parents can greatly influence the amount of information that is retained by their children.

Parents should familiarize themselves with Ontario's Motorized Snow Vehicle Act. (MSV ACT)

The Sudbury Kids Injury Prevention Coalition has some interesting statistics on our children's snowmobiling habits. These statistics can give parents an insight of what to discuss with their children to help their children protect themselves against snowmobile related injuries.

The survey was conducted with 1520 grade 6, 7 & 8 students attending schools in the Region of Sudbury .

When asked; student responded:snowmobilesandkids.jpg

Family owns a snowmobile 49%

Have driven a snowmobile 70%

Have been a passenger 89%

Has taken a snowmobile course 22%

Has driven companions

  • None 5%
  • Family members 53%
  • Friends 30%
  • Frequency of riding
  • less than 10 times 35%
  • 11 to 30 times 26%
  • more than 30 times 25%
Characteristics & Safety BehavioursCourseNo Course
Average age13.012.5
Speed on trails
less 50 km/h 50%32%
greater 50 km/h 50%68%
Speed on lakes
less 70km/h40%40%
greater 70km/h60%60%
Consumption 12%5%

Children under 12

Kids who are 11 years old or younger may drive only on the property owned by the registered owner of the vehicle... If driving on someone else's private property, child must have expressed permission and be under adult supervision.

Children 12 to 15snowmobilesandkids.jpg

Kids 12 to 15 years old may drive only if he/she holds a snowmachine operators license. If licensed, he/she may drive on trails or on the property of the registered owner of the vehicle.(please see definition of trails according to the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act.)

Youths 16 and over

Young people 16 years or more may drive only if he/she holds a snowmachine operators license or a driver's license. He/she may drive on trails or along a road, cross a road on a 90' angle, parks and fields if permitted by the municipality.
Always drive carefully. You might not be able to hear well because of engine noise and your helmet.

Snowmobilers should watch out for:
  • obstacles hidden by snow pov-snowmobiling623.jpg
  • trees and branches on the trail
  • oncoming snowmobiles or sleds
  • trail wash-outs or flooding
  • roads and railway crossings
  • bridges, open water and unsafe ice
  • wildlife
  • skiers, dog sleds etc...
  • unexpected corners, stops
  • snowbanks and moguls

MSV Act Definitions:

Trail means the whole of any trail established and maintained by a recreation organization. In other words an organized snowmobile club trail.

Highway includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, drive way, square, place, bridge, designed and intended for, or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles.


A person is guilty of an offence, where without express permission he/she enters on premises when entry is prohibited or engages in an activity on premises when prohibited or does not leave the premises immediately after he/she is directed to do so.


Municipal law dictates where snowmobiles are prohibited in certain areas. It is always best to check with your municipal town by-laws before driving your snowmobile.snowmobile.jpg.w300h200.jpg

For more information on Snowmobile Safety, please visit the following Web sites:

Click here to view the Snowmachines and kids pamphlet.