PSA: Snowmobile Safety

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 11:15
Date Published: 2021-01-12

With an incredibly mild winter, and perhaps more time on our hands, many local snowmobile riders are probably eager to get out riding.

The Thunder Bay Police Service would like to remind riders about some rules surrounding snowmobile use, and help ensure the safety of snowmobile riders, passengers and community members.

There are areas within the city where snowmobiles are prohibited. This includes much of the city east of Highway 11/17 and Highway 61, and the area North of the Kaministiquia River. Other areas where snowmobile use is prohibited 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

Snowmobiles cannot be ridden on the travelled portion of any serviced roads (including the pavement and shoulders), except when crossing at right angles.

The speed limit is 20km/h when riding along a roadway posted at 50km/h or less, and 50km/h when on a roadway posted at more than 50km/h.

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 approved by the act. Snowmobiles must 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 11p.m. and 7a.m, and snowmobile riders are not allowed to ride on private property without the permission of the property owner. Modified exhaust systems can create substantially more noise, causing significant disturbance for local residents or others utilizing these areas. There are applicable charges under the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act for modifying, altering or changing the exhaust or muffler on 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.

More detail on rules can be found online in the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act at:



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