DNR reminds snowmobilers to drive safe

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says there have been 14 snowmobiler deaths in the 2012-13 season so far.

The department wants to remind snowmobilers to use caution when driving to prevent more tragedies on trails across the state.

“Speed, alcohol and night-time operation are the three most common factors with our fatal accidents,” said DNR Conservation Warden and Snowmobile Safety Administrator Gary Eddy said.

In the 2011-2012 season, there were ten snowmobile fatalities.

The DNR is encouraging snowmobilers to:

-Ride with a safety mindset
Slow down
Ride under control
Practice “Zero Alcohol”—that means refraining from drinking any alcohol until you’re home and done riding for the day.
Take a safety course. Snowmobile safety certification is required of all operators at least age 12 and born on or after January 1, 1985.

The La Crosse County snowmobile trails opened at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 22. Trail groomers have reported a lot of ice under the fresh snow and caution snowmobilers to be careful.