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Brush up on your snowmobile safety - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Brush up on your snowmobile safety

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A 30-year-old man was killed last night in a snowmobile crash. Investigators say Dustin Gilbertson was thrown from his snowmobile after he collided with a power line guy-wire.

It happened off of County Road 138 near Lake Eunice Township in Becker County and after, local sheriff's offices are urging riders to use snowmobiles responsibly.

"Not only for your safety, but it's  for other individual's safety," says Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Mork.

The Clay County Sheriff's offices patrol area trails on the eastern side of the river.

"We're just looking for individuals to operate them safely as possible, I mean and that's why there's some of the stuff out there whether it be the speed limits, using the hand signals, making sure your equipment works properly," he says.

They say before you go out, make sure you have the right certification, like a snowmobile safety class certificate for operators between 12-16 years of age or anyone born after December 31, 1976.

"Whether you possess that certificate while you're riding or it's one of the endorsements on your license, you must have that while you're operating a snowmobile in the state of Minnesota," he says.

They say many accidents occur when riders veer off maintained trails into unknown risks.

"Whether they be culverts in the ditch or other obstructions that may be in the middle of a field," he says.

North Dakota officials are also looking for proper registration, insurance and safety certification- not just for those who are new to the sleds.

"Even the 25-30 year experienced veteran, it never hurts to again be familiar with the machine you're driving, its capability levels," says Cpl. Tim Briggeman of the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

They say one should also be aware of his or her own capability levels. Cass County officials say they've seen accidents where riders were traveling too fast to stop.

"When you hit something at 65-70 miles per hour- I have been on those accidents," he says.

Cass and Clay County officials say dress for the weather and tell others where you're going and when you plan to get back. That way, if anything happens, response will be much faster and much more accurate. They say riders should also always carry a cell phone.

If you'd like to refresh your snowmobile safety, there are links attached to the hot button at the top of our main page.

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