BLOG/ SLATER VECCHIO CONNECTED

March 5, 2012

Snowmobile Safety

The Vancouver Sun reports that a snowmobiler was fined $4000 for causing a fatal accident with a pedestrian near Winnipeg last January.

The driver pleaded guilty to a careless operation charge under Manitoba’s Off-Road Vehicles Act. He was travelling 70 km/h in the dark and was unable to brake or avoid the 51-year-old pedestrian.

The driver was fortunate not to be convicted under the Criminal Code. But the $4000 fine the young driver must pay is far from the worst of his penalties. He’ll be forever haunted for taking an innocent man’s life.

BC’s own backyard provides ample landscape for snowmobiling enthusiasts. And with recent snowfall late in the season, snowmobilers are reminded to exercise safety while the snow lasts.

BC’s Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act says that you must not operate an all terrain vehicle in a careless, reckless or negligent manner that endangers or injures another. See Section 4 of the Act for a complete list of restrictions.

A helpful resource for those involved in snowmobiling is the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation (BCSF). BCSF provides training courses to riders covering everything from basic safety to avalanche awareness to more advanced snowmobile patrol.

The BCSF website provides a list of important safety tips worth reviewing before heading out on a snowmobile. One safety tip in particular: beware of darkness. Ask yourself, “Am I driving slow enough to see an object in time to avoid a collision?” The website notes that 70% of fatalities occur between 6pm and 6am.

If only the young rider had kept this in mind last January, a tragic fatality could have been prevented.

For a complete list of safety tips: http://www.bcsf.org/safety/safe-riders-you-make-snowmobiling-safe.

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Author - James Buckley

James was part of the team of lawyers who joined Tony and Mike at the start up of Slater Vecchio LLP in 1998. James has only ever practiced in the area of plaintiff’s personal injury law.