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Thunder Bay police issue snowmobile safety guidelines

Thunder Bay police are issuing a reminder regarding snowmobile rules and safety.
snowmobile AdobeStock
City police are reminding snowmobilers about rules and safety (stock image)

THUNDER BAY — Thunder Bay police are issuing a reminder to snowmobilers in the area about some of the rules all riders should be aware of before heading out.

Snowmobiles are prohibited in certain areas of the city, according to a news release issued on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

“This includes much of the city east of Highway 11/17 and Highway 61 and the area north of the Kaministiquia River,” the release states.

Police are also reminding riders snowmobiles cannot be ridden on the travelled portion of any serviced roads except when crossing at right angles. This includes pavement and shoulders, police say.

The speed limit is 20 kilometres per hour when riding along a roadway posted at 50 kilometres per hour or less and 50 kilometres per hour when on a roadway is posted at more than 50 kilometres per hour.

Furthermore, in order to drive a snowmobile along or across a highway or public roadway, a person must be 16 years or older and must hold either a valid driver’s licence or an Ontario Motorized snow vehicle operator’s licence and be wearing a helmet. 

Snowmobiles must also be registered and have valid insurance unless the vehicle is being driven on land occupied by the owner of the vehicle. 

Noise bylaws prohibit the use of snowmobiles between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. and riders are not allowed to ride on private property without the permission of the property owner.

Those who modify snowmobile exhaust systems can create substantially more noise, police say. There are applicable charges under the motorized snow vehicle act for modifying, altering or changing the exhaust or muffler of a snowmobile.

“Aftermarket modifications are permitted if the snowmobile is driven in a sanctioned racing area but cannot be used when snowmobiles are driven on public land or along municipal roadways,” police said in a release issued Tuesday.

Other areas where snowmobile use is prohibited in Thunder Bay include: 

  • County Park
  • Jumbo Gardens, Tuscany and Woodcrest neighbourhoods
  • Cross country ski area in Trowbridge Falls Park
  • Cascades Conservation Area
  • All City golf courses
  • The waterfront
  • Riverdale Road, from Highway 61 to the 20th Side Road.
  • The total length of North Riverdale Road
  • Rosslyn Road, from Neebing Avenue to 25th Side Road
  • Taylor Drive and Robbie Bay in Hillcrest Estates Trailer Court
  • Pomona Drive, Baccus Drive, Fortuna Drive and Damon Crescent in Vestavale Trailer Court
  • John St Road from Valley Street to Belrose Road

For those who wish to use the Ontario Federation Snowmobile Club trails, a permit must be purchased on the website.