The RCMP’s guide to staying safe on your snowmobile

The CV RCMP offer tips on insuring, operating and staying safe on your vehicle this winter.

The Columbia Valley detachment responds every year to complaints involving recreational vehicles, including snowmobiles. We thought we would send out the following information just as a reminder.

All snowmobiles in the Province of British Columbia are required to be registered under the Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act.

At the time of registration the owner of the snowmobile must place the two yellow decals on either side of the tunnel. These decals are not transferable from machine to machine. A copy of the registration must be on the machine at all times.

Failure to provide proof of registration or failure to provide the supporting documents are separate, ticketable offences.

If your snowmobile has never been registered before, or has been modified with an aftermarket tunnel, or is from out of province, a mandatory check of your motor and chassis serial numbers are required for registration.

The Columbia Valley Detachment, or any detachment can assist with this, time permitting to verify your serial numbers.

Take note that if you have just recently bought a new snowmobile, it is advisable that you write down the serial numbers of your motor as it will be different than the one on your chassis.

If your snowmobile is stolen the chances of finding it increases by 50 per cent if you also provide the motor serial number.

Registration is affordable and is for the life of the snowmobile. However,  keep in mind that the province will want the sales tax and that is all dependant on what price was paid for the snowmobile.

All registered snowmobiles are allowed to utilize non maintained Forest Service Roads without ICBC Insurance. The maximum speed limit on a non maintained forest service road for a snowmobile is 80 km per hr.

Once a grader makes a swipe of  the road it becomes maintained.

If one wishes to use the snowmobile on a public road, even just to cross, by law, you need to have your machine licensed and insured just like a car.  Third party liability insurance is available from your ICBC broker.  Once insured, you then need to obtain a permit from your local RCMP which will outline where you can cross or utilize a road way.

For the most part in the Columbia Valley this may not be granted or feasible depending on the community, traffic volume, or lack of snow!

In theory ditch riding is prohibited, as liability insurance is required within 30 metres of the centre of roadway.

Insurance obtained through the B.C. Snowmobile Federation or obtained privately is liability insurance for off road use only. The insurance is void once the operator drives on or crosses a public road.

For driving on a non maintained forest service road, including public roads and crown land, the snowmobile must be in good mechanical condition with an operative headlight, rear light, and working brakes.

There is no enforceable helmet law while riding on Crown Land, but one is only tempting fate if they decide not to wear one.

Those who wish to mix recreational riding with recreational drugs, including alcohol, be advised that the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the impaired operation of any motor vehicle including snowmobiles on any public road or public access area, including the back country or frozen lakes. Every year this detachment responds to incidents involving snowmobiles where alcohol  was the contributing factor to decision making.  It fogs the experienced rider’s judgement.

If a back country adventure is planned, plan and be prepared.  An avalanche beacon, probe, shovel, warm clothing, survival kit, first aid kit, and basic tool kit should be all considered.  Leave an itinerary with someone, and don’t go alone. Ride within your limits and ride with respect to the area you are riding in.

Ignorance is bliss, except when it comes to the law. The Columbia Valley detachment has snowmobiles and all members of this detachment are trained operators. Time permitting, enforcement patrols will be made in many of the snowmobiling areas.

We want you to have fun, safe fun!

— Cpl. Brent Ayers, Columbia Valley RCMP

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by:
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read