AUGUSTA, Maine -- Presidents Weekend and February vacation week is always a popular time for snowmobiling in Maine, and the Maine Warden Service wants to remind riders to that they need to ride responsibly when enjoying Maine's 13,000 miles of trails.
Maine Game Wardens will be out in force again this holiday weekend, encouraging riders to ride responsibly, and enforcing Maine's snowmobile laws.
"We are reaching people with our message of Ride Responsibly, Ride Right and Ride Sober, but we need to continue to educate riders and enforce the laws in order to keep our trails safe," said Maine's Chief Warden, Tim Peabody.
Over the past six weeks, game wardens have conducted 59 special enforcement details, compared to seven at this point last year. Maine game wardens have summonsed 30 riders for reckless operation (including imprudent speed and driving to endanger) compared to 28 at this point last year. Maine Wardens have handled 13 Operating Under the Influence cases, compared to 28 last year.
During the first two weeks of the season, there were 8 snowmobile fatalities. In the five weeks since that time, there have been three fatalities, including two over a 24-hour span this past week.
The Maine Snowmobile Association and local snowmobile clubs have been instrumental in getting the word out also, working with the Maine Warden Service to promote safe trail riding.
"Maine Game Wardens are doing an excellent job patrolling Maine's trails, but with their limited numbers, they can't be everywhere," said Bob Meyers, Executive Director of the Maine Snowmobile Association. "People need to stick to the basics and ride in control, ride to the right and ride sober. That makes snowmobiling safer for all."
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