As the snowy season gets off to a start, riders are reminded to take the right precautions.
Now that there has been some significant snowfall in many areas, officials from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have been reminding owners of sleds that even though they may be excited to head out for the first few times, snowmobile insurance and the right safety checks and equipment are just as vital now as they have ever been.
The DNR is also reminding these riders to brush up on the riding regulations where they’ll be traveling.
The additional precautions of checking and renewing snowmobile insurance, tuning up the sleighs, and reviewing riding rules are especially important this year. This is because the winter season was so light in many areas last year, that it has actually been more than one winter since the machines were last ridden.
The DNR is recognizing that there are people who haven’t been out or had snowmobile insurance in two years.
According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources ATV and Snowmobile coordinator, David Downing, “Winter forgot about Iowa last year, so we could see more than a few operators who have not been out for two years.” He added that “We’ve been working with our snowmobiles clubs on rules to benefit the activity and are encouraging operators to get familiar with them.”
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This has included permits and snowmobile insurance, as well as safe riding techniques and regulations. According to Downing, the sleds that are operating on any of the designated trails for those machines, on public land or on public ice are required to display a current registration as well as a user permit that was issued by the DNR. Furthermore, residents are also required to display the decal and the permit decal near the headlight bezel or on the windshield.
Nonresidents, on the other hand, need to display one of their own state’s current registration decals as well as a user permit from the DNR.
Certain other precautions must also be taken. When being operated on public highways, including city streets and ditches, snowmobile insurance with liability coverage must be present and proof of that policy must be available at all times while riding.