Sheriff warns of safety before snowmobilers hit the trails

While the snow storm may have been a pain for drivers, snowmobile enthusiasts are rejoicing over the think layer of new snow.

However, Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin is warning snowmobilers to take extra precautions as they head out this weekend.

Sheriff Wallin is reminder riders to stay off the ice, as it can take two weeks of below freezing temperatures for the ice on lakes, streams and ponds to freeze thick enough to support a snowmobile.

Here are some further tips from the Sheriff:

-Always keep your machine in top mechanical condition

-Always wear insulated boots and protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves and eye protection

-Never ride alone

-Avoid, when possible, crossing frozen bodies of water

-Always be alert and avoid fences and low strung wires

-Never operate your snowmobile in a single file line when crossing frozen bodies of water

-Always look for depression in the snow

-Keep headlights and taillights on at all times

-When approaching an intersection, come to a complete stop, raise off the seat and look for traffic

-Always check weather conditions before you depart

-Never operate your snowmobile on railroad tracks

-Never operate your snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol

Sheriff Wallin also reminds drivers that snowmobiles must abide by the same regulations as drivers. Emmet County deputies will be on patrol to make sure residents and visitors stay safe this winter.