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International Snowmobile Safety Week: January 15-23

Snowmobile on trail with snow covered trees in background

The snowmobile community will sponsor the 28th annual International Snowmobile Safety Week (ISSW). This is a special event for the snowmobile community, including state and provincial snowmobile associations, visitors and convention bureaus, chambers of commerce, snowmobile clubs, and local, state and provincial agencies to join together to recognize the importance of safe, responsible snowmobiling.

Many groups highlight safety week by holding various snowmobile safety training programs. All of these innitatives highlight the key position statements of the safety week efforts, which include:

  • Snowmobiling and alcohol don’t mix – don’t drink and ride
  • Smart riders are safe riders – take a snowmobile safety training course
  • When night riding, slow down – expect the unexpected
  • Know before you go – always check local ice conditions
  • Cross with care
  • Know the risks and be prepared – make every trip a round trip
  • One is the loneliest number – never ride alone
  • Ride safe, stay on the trail – respect private property

Snowmobiling is a fun family activity, and riders must keep safety as a top-of-mind awareness issue.

Avalanche awareness

When snowmobiling in avalanche terrain, always check the existing conditions. Riders can do so at:

The five guidelines for mountain terrain riding:

  • Get the gear: Ensure everyone has an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe on their person and knows how to use them.
  • Get the training: Take an avalanche safety course.
  • Get the forecast: Make a riding plan based on the current avalanche and weather forecast.
  • Get the picture: If there has been recent avalanche activity, unstable snow exists. Riding on or underneath steep slopes can be dangerous.
  • Get out of harm’s way: Always ride one-at-a-time on all avalanche slopes. Don’t go to help a stuck friend and don’t group up in runout zones.

This year, the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) continues its efforts to ensure that all snowmobilers understand that they must respect private landowners and public land, and the land managers. ISMA highlights the need to protect land use privileges and to stay on the trail, and reminds riders: if you don’t know, don’t go. Remember to take the pledge at

Snowmobile clubs and associations/federations are encouraged to invite local representatives from the business community to go snowmobiling and show them the known, safe riding standards. There is information available from ISMA to help support efforts, including the “Safe Rider”13-chapter video series, found at and

All of the videos are free and can be downloaded and used at local events. A Safety Week manual is available for download at, with ideas on how to set up a Safety Week event and get ISSW recognized in local communities.

During campaign activities, ISMA encourages snowmobilers to take photos and share them with others on ISMA’s Facebook page: