Enforcing Safe Sledding


Enforcement agencies are integral to ensuring the safety of snowmobilers and other Albertans out enjoying the chilly great outdoors.

  1. Riding with care and caution
    • A rider can be guilty of operating a snowmobile without due care and
      caution or without reasonable consideration for other persons or property (Section 23 of the Off-Highway Vehicles Act). The sled driver is liable for a fine of as much as $1,000. If you do not pay the fine, you are then subject to imprisonment for as many as six months, with or without the option of another fine.
  2. Alcohol and snowmobiling simply don’t mix
    • In Alberta, a snowmobile driver can be charged with the same impaired driving charges as a driver of a motor vehicle.
    • The majority of snowmobile collisions involve drinking and riding.
      When these two activities are mixed, the result is often fatal.
    • Alcohol impairs your ability to operate a snowmobile just as it
      impairs your ability to drive a motor vehicle.
    • Mixing alcohol and night riding can be a deadly nightcap.
  3. Riding on solid ground
  4. A snowmobiler is prohibited from riding on any portion of a highway (Section 18 of the Off-Highway Vehicle Act). The exceptions to this law are:
    • To cross a highway. If doing so, stop and yield to all traffic and disembark all passengers. Cross the highway by the most direct, shortest and safest route available.
    • By special permission granted from the provincial government for a special event. Even then, snowmobilers are only granted the right to ride in ditches alongside highways for a specified amount of time that must be during daylight hours.
    • By special permission (bylaw) from the municipal government.
  5. Muffling the sound of your excitement
    • No rider can operate a snowmobile without a muffler. You cannot legally
      ride your snowmobile if your sled’s muffler has been:
    • cut off or disconnected;
    • the baffle plate is removed, opened or widened;
    • an attachment or device that increases the noise is added.
      (Section 14 of the Off-Highway Vehicle Regulation Act).
  6. For this reason, most “after market mufflers” that increase noise are illegal. Noise is a key complaint some people
  7. Being on a collision course
    • Whenever you come across a snowmobile collision, you should give your assistance.
    • If you are involved in a collision, you must produce your name, address, registration, insurance and any other information requested by an enforcement officer.
    • If there has been an injury, death or property damage of $1,000 or more, the rider must report to a local peace officer in that area and make a written report just as you would in the event of a motor vehicle collision. (Section 21 of the Off-Highway Vehicle Act).

Enforcing snowmobile safety starts with you.
Know the rules before you make tracks.