Police stop 500 snowmobilers, passengers in wake of lake drownings

MUSKOKA — In the wake a fatal snowmobile accidents that claimed two boys 11 and 15 recently, provincial police are increasing their snowmobile patrols during the March break.

The OPP stopped 500 snowmobilers and passengers last week in a blitz following the drowning deaths of boys 11 and 15.

Officers from the OPP’s Bracebridge detachment Motorized Snow Vehicle (MSV) patrol have been actively patrolling the trails, lakes and roadways in our area this week.

They say “a relentless commitment to community safety helps stave off the frigid chill of winter as MSV officers endure the elements to help promote a safe environment for sledders of all ages.

“In an effort to maintain a strong community partnership with snowmobilers, the OPP actively patrols our trails, lakes and roadways to help ensure a safe and responsible standard of operation.”

During the March break, officers will be conducting random R.I.D.E. stops as well as mobile patrols throughout Muskoka. In addition to careless or impaired operation, officers are ensuring compliance with helmet, insurance, registration and mechanical requirements.

The following is a snapshot of the past week’s patrols:

In addition to trail patrols, officers conducted seven random RIDE checks throughout Muskoka.

The stopped 500 operators/passengers and issued 12 tickets for various offences including; trespassing, helmets, alcohol and even fishing violations.

One operator was issued a three-day driver’s license suspension for his blood/alcohol level after registering an ‘alert’ on a roadside screening device.

Police say: “As we enjoy the March Break and the remainder of the 2019 snowmobile season, the OPP wish to remind all riders to be attentive and mindful of the increased number of trail users while schools are out.

“Furthermore, the fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions will be creating unstable ice conditions, please use extra caution whenever you venture onto the ice.”