Harrisburg, PA - December 9th marks the official start date of the snowmobile season in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association (PSSA) offers valuable services and information for an enjoyable snowmobiling season. Snowmobilers can get real-time information of snow conditions in key areas of the state through the Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association's webcams on www.pasnow.org, a project financed by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.
In addition, PSSA has financially assisted clubs with mini-grant funds totaling over $77,000 over the past year. Being good stewards of the trails they enjoy, Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association's club volunteers have been working all summer and fall in preparation for the start of the season. Such preparations include widening trails, clearing brush, repairing bridges, and installing drainage pipes and navigational safety signs, to name a few.
The mini-grants project is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program funded through the Federal Highway Administration, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. Its purpose is to help clubs repair and maintain trails and grooming equipment and assist with grooming expenses.
Trails on State Game Lands will not be open until January 20, however.
The Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association also reminds all snowmobilers to practice safe riding for the 2012-2013 snowmobiling season. Youth ages 10-15 must complete a safety course and carry the certificate when they ride the trails.PSSA clubs still have youth safety classes available. Click here for a schedule of the remaining classes.
Top 10 Tips for a Safe Snowmobile Season
#10 Ride to the Right
Just like when driving an automobile, you need to always stay to the right. Give opposing traffic their side of the trail. This is especially critical on curves and turns but also applies to straightaways.
#9 Ride at a Reasonable Speed
Excessive speed is one of the most common causes of snowmobile accidents. Stay within a reasonable speed for the existing trail conditions. Slow down and provide a measure of safety for everyone around you.
#8 Ride Defensively
You can do everything right and still be involved in an accident because someone else was driving poorly. Don't let the poor judgement of others injure you. Expect the unexpected!
#7 Use Hand Signals
Use the standardized snowmobile riding hand signals. The noise of your engine and the engines of other snowmobiles often impair spoken communication, so use these hand signals when on the trial.
#6 Know your Abilities and Don't Go Beyond Them
#5 Know your Machine's Capabilities and Don't Push Beyond Them
#4 Know Your Riding Area.
Get a map. Talk to the local folks.
#2 Wear Appropriate Gear
Including gloves, helmets and snowmobile clothing.
#1 Don't Drink and Ride
Most snowmobile accident fatalities can be directly linked to the use of alochol. All riders should not drink alcohol or use drugs before or while operating a snowmobile.
For further information on trail conditions, member snowmobile clubs, events, supportive member businesses and joining PSSA, visit PSSA's website at www.pasnow.org or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pasnow.
(information from PA Snowmobile Association)