ROCHESTER, Minn. - There have been 3 fatalities in Minnesota so far this year involving a snowmobile.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is doing their best to make sure riders are staying safe. Conservation Officer Clint Fitzgerald said anyone born after December 31st, 1976 needs a snowmobile safety certificate. He said it's crucial riders always wear a helmet and the proper clothing such as insulated gloves, glasses and boots. Officer Fitzgerald said it's also important to keep an extra belt in the compartment along with water and snacks in case your snowmobile breaks down.
Riders need to keep make sure their speed is in check at all times. Snowmobiles are very powerful and it's not worth getting hurt. Officer Fitzgerald stresses riders need to be safe and give the respect the snowmobile deserves. "Snow mobiles are intended out there to have fun on, so even though that's their intent, they're still very powerful pieces of machinery and they have to be treated with that kind of respect so that you don't run into trouble," explained Officer Fitzgerald.
Another recommendation is to never ride alone. However if you have to, make sure someone knows where you're riding. "You should be telling people what your plan is, where you're going to be operating and what time you expect to be back so they know something might be wrong if you don't come back within the timeline that they expect you," Officer Fitzgerald said.
You can check the trails on their website for updates on how the conditions are.