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DNR releases new 'Ride Right' snowmobile safety video

New initiative helps snowmobilers learn about the importance of "leading right"

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with several partners, including the Michigan Snowmobile & ORV Association, has released a new Ride Right safety campaign video.

The new video was created to help instruct snowmobilers about the importance of "leading right." The DNR encourages snowmobilers to view the video and share it with others.

Over the past couple of winters, increased concern has been raised over novice or less-experienced snowmobilers being able to keep pace with riding group leaders. In some cases, these riders trying to keep pace have gone beyond their operating abilities and have been severely injured or killed.

"We want group leaders to think about the experience level of the snowmobilers in their groups," said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. "We want to do all we can to try to prevent injuries and fatalities."

The "lead right" initiative is a component of the Ride Right snowmobile and off-road vehicle safety campaign, which has been promoted for several winters.

"We’re hoping that snowmobile enthusiasts, new and veteran, will take advantage of the safety resources the DNR has created to help reiterate the Ride Right campaign messaging within their communities," said Katie Gervasi, communications representative for the DNR's Law Enforcement Division. "By reminding riders to slow down, ride sober, within the abilities of themselves and their machines and on the right side of the trail, we hope to reduce snowmobile operator injuries and fatalities."

Jessica Holley-Roehrs, state motorized trails program specialist for the DNR, said the Ride Ride safety program, which launched in Michigan a few years ago, remains a top priority for the DNR.

"We're committed to helping encourage safe riding on our more than 6,000 miles of state-managed snowmobile trails, and we believe this campaign is making a difference in bringing awareness to rider safety and ultimately lowering the number of snowmobile crashes in the state," she said. "Thanks to local law enforcement agencies and our partner snowmobile clubs and organizations, this important message is reaching riders throughout the state and beyond."

Among its latest safety promotion efforts, the DNR has also created posters and social media graphics to help spread the word about how to Ride Right. The department is also creating "Ride Right" trail signs requested by snowmobile groups who ride and maintain trails.

Find out more about Ride Right.