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Snowmobilers encouraged to prepare early for season

In anticipation of the snowmobile season, officials at Utah State Parks and Recreation encourage all snowmobilers to prepare early for a safe and enjoyable winter season.

Utah Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Education Specialist Eric Stucki reminds all Carbon County riders the key to a safe snowmobiling season is proper preparation.

"Preparation for snowmobiling is not only important for the machine, but also for the rider," said Stucki. "All riders should make sure their equipment and their bodies are ready."

He recommends making sure the snowmobile is functioning properly, and that everyone has a properly fitting helmet, good goggles and proper winter clothing.

Also, riders should be physically conditioned to handle the rigors of snowmobiling.

Of particular concern to Stucki is the number of young riders who may venture out without proper training. Stucki urges parents to enroll their children in a Know Before You Go! snowmobile education class.

Classes are available now and continue each week throughout the riding season.

Know Before You Go! education classes teach the fundamentals of safe and responsible snowmobile riding.

Utah law requires young drivers eight through 15 to possess an OHV Education Certificate while operating a snowmobile on any public land. Drivers 16 years and older must have a valid driver's license or OHV education certificate.

Children under age eight cannot operate a snowmobile on public land.

Stucki also reminds riders to check avalanche conditions and information before venturing outdoors. All snowmobilers should carry a beacon, shovel and probe.

This is a good time of year to check beacon batteries and purchase equipment.

The Utah Avalanche Forecast Center and Utah State Parks post avalanche updates for the Western Uintas, Northern Utah and Manti-Skyline areas.

Free avalanche training is also available.

For avalanche information, training and the Know Before You Go! program, contact the Utah State Parks and Recreation OHV Education office at 1-800-OHV-RIDE.





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