Young Snowmobile Riders Hit the Classroom Before Hitting the Trails

Now that snow is finally on the ground, snowmobile safety classes are starting up.

Clay County Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club had their annual safety class for kids 12 and up.

“The first part of the class is all classroom stuff,”  said Trail Blazers Volunteer, Harvey Moos.  “We go through a power point presentation and then take a final exam and then after that they actually get to go out and ride snow mobiles.”

They were taught how to follow signs on snowmobile trails, remembering to slow down and making sure to follow all speed limit signs.

“We’re looking to make sure that they use the proper hand signals,” said Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Officer William Landmark.  “Hand signals are used to let riders behind them know how many riders are behind them.”

After classroom lessons, kids were sent outside and were put to the test.

An obstacle course was set up for them to ride snowmobiles with the help of trainers.  Volunteers say the hands–on learning out on the track is a big part of the class.

“Just getting the kids familiarized with what objects they could come across and how to cross roads as safely,” said Harvey.

And for some kids, this wasn’t their first time on a snowmobile. It happens to be a hobby of theirs.

“I’ve been riding since I was five because I have a little hobby and I have a few snowmobiles that my dad lets me ride,” said snowmobile rider Zachary Neuhalfen.

But even with the safety classes, law enforcement says accidents can still happen.

“We see a lot of injuries, a lot of accidents at night. Directly related to speed because you can easily overdrive your headlights at night,” said Officer William.

Volunteers say their goal is to prevent as many of these injuries as possible.

“Just knowing that I’m hoping 100 percent of these kids go out and they ride safely and no accidents happen,” said Harvey.

Since every kid passed their test today, it’s safe to say there’s a new crew of snowmobile riders that will soon be out and about.  Law enforcement says urges riders to register their snowmobile before going out on the trails.

Categories: Community, North Dakota News