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On the heels of four fatal snowmobile accidents in Ulster County within the last four years, officials are voicing a warning, urging anyone mounting their machines to do so with caution this winter season. Time Warner Cable News reporter Alexandra Weishaupt has more on the importance of exercising safety.
KINGSTON, N.Y. – "Out in the Hurley flats area, down in Gardner in the orchards area, up in Shandakan ,there’s a network trial system that goes into Delaware County, so there are local trails to be ridden, but we ask that you ride them safely," said Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico.
Outdoor enthusiasts taking to the trails, but first, drivers between the ages of 10 and 18 must take to the classroom, undergoing an eight hour course designated by New York State to ensure safety in the snow.
“Unfortunately, the past couple of years, Ulster County has seen fatal snowmobile accidents and we’re trying to cut down on those by teaching through education and what we’re doing is seeing the numbers drop,” said Faluotico.
Faluotico said in knowing your machine and familiarize yourself with the area in which you are riding it can make all the difference when exposed to the elements.
“If it's a designated trail, stay on that designated trail, do not go off, don't go in the areas that are not meant for riding,” he added. “There's farm equipment that's covered by snow out there, there are fence wires and there are a lot of obstructions that you don't see when they're covered by snow that can be a fatal injury.”
Faluotico also stressed the importance of staying clear of bodies of water, having permission to go on the land, wearing the proper winter gear and always riding with a buddy.
“I enjoy it, I love teaching it and I will tell you it's one of the funest sports that you can ever take part in, but do it safely.”