Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 20, 2007

Eileen Larrabee

State Parks Urges Snowmobilers to Ride Safely

Citing a Number of Early Fatalities This Season, Sled Operators Are Encouraged to Ride with Caution

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today urged snowmobilers to exercise caution and adhere to safe riding practices as they enjoy the early snow season throughout the state.

In stressing safety, Ash cited a number of early snowmobile-related deaths within New York State. According to state officials, five snowmobile deaths have been reported so far this season, occurring in Saratoga, Clinton, Essex, Oneida and Wayne counties.

"While an early and abundant snowfall throughout the state is good news for winter recreational activities, we strongly remind all snowmobilers of the need to be responsible and safe operators of their machines," Ash said.

Ash urged riders to slow down and obey posted speed limits on marked trails, always wear an approved helmet and never operate a snowmobile after consuming alcohol and obey posted speed limits. She noted that the leading cause of accidents is excessive speed, and that alcohol is a factor is many fatalities.

Ash added that the agency offers snowmobile safety courses throughout the state. "Safe riders know that safe riding is great riding. A safe rider avoids excessive speed; never mixes alcohol with snowmobiling; takes care of the trails; plans for winter conditions, and avoids riding alone." Ash also suggested that riders check on trail conditions with their local area snowmobile clubs.

The Office of State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation oversees 11,000 miles of state-designated snowmobile trails throughout the Empire State.

Information on snowmobile safety and safety courses is available at or by calling 518.474.0446.