I completely understand the need for snowmobiles for daily life up north and I know that without snowmobiles many lives would be lost after avalanches and skiing accidents. But there is absolutely no reason that snowmobiles should be used for recreation.
Snowmobiling has got to be the most useless of all recreational sports. It does not benefit the health of the individual, it pollutes, it's noisy and it annoys the folks living close to trails and waterways.
Honestly, I don't understand what happens to normally civilized, well-educated human beings when they park their ass on the back of a snowmobile. Respect and common sense go out the window and they become the most arrogant, stupid creatures on the face of the earth. They have no respect for private property, they blind on-coming drivers with their headlights, they frighten wildlife and they generally behave like a bunch of juvenile delinquents.
I read an article a couple of days ago that mentioned that there have been five fatal snowmobile accidents in
so far this year. Not surprising to me, all five were males over 40 years old. Every winter our news reports contain a smattering of stories about snowmobile drownings, high-speed crashes, fatal accidents caused by snowmobiles crossing highways and the like. Quebec
I remember one particularly grisly story many years back about a family of four who went out for a ride on a very cold day, with mom and dad on the snowmobile and the two children being pulled in a sleigh behind. As the parents zoomed around at high speeds having a good time, the children were freezing behind them on the sleigh. The children were screaming for them to stop, but the parents couldn't hear them. When they finally stopped, both of their children's eyes were completely frozen, and they both lost their sight. I have always wondered how that couple managed to live with themselves after doing such a deplorable thing to their precious offspring.
We live out in the cornfields and unfortunately snowmobile clubs in the area make trails through the farmer's fields around here each winter. I don't know if the clubs get permission to make these trails, or if they just do it because like most snowmobilers, they don't consider anything off-limits and they have no respect for anything or anyone.
It only takes one idiot to leave the groomed trail, zoom around our backyard like a maniac, then tear out, full throttle, directly under our bedroom window. Once the snow is broken and that new trail is blazed then every other asshole on a snowmobile has to follow their bad example. Doesn't matter if it's private property, doesn't matter that it's 2am, doesn't matter that we're sleeping. I am so sick and tired of getting torn out of my sleep by snowmobiles on my property, whizzing around with their engines screaming like sewing machines on crack.
I would like to put up signs saying
SNOWMOBILES WILL BE USEDFOR TARGET PRACTICE
ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK
but I don't like to issue empty threats and apparently it's against the law to shoot at them. It's not against the law for them to ransack my property, to disturb the peace and to pollute so it's pretty obvious who's got the big end of the stick here, right? So much for moving away from the suburbs to get a little peace and quiet.
But wait a minute - hmmm why lookie here - there are rules. Check out this information from the
government site concerning snowmobile operation: Quebec
Speed LimitUnless otherwise indicated, the speed limit for snowmobiles is 70 km/h. The speed limit is reduced to 30 km/h within 30 m of a residence, even if no signs are posted.
Riding Near Inhabited AreasIt is illegal to ride within 30 meters of a dwelling, a health establishment, or an area that is reserved for cultural, educational, or sports activities. However, the Act provides for certain exceptions. Snowmobiles must slow down when approaching one of these locations, and be careful not to make too much noise, especially at night!
Respecting the EnvironmentSnowmobiling is a privilege. In light of this, it is important that users act in a manner that shows consideration for neighboring residents and the environment. Always be sure to respect neighboring residents, the environment, and wildlife.
Respecting Property RightsMTQ expects you to obey the law and be civic-minded, and asks you to travel on the trails that are marked and maintained by the clubs in your federation. Unfortunately, snowmobilers do occasionally damage the fences installed by MTQ along road rights-of-way in order to travel off marked trails and operate illegally on public roads. The fences and other installations are there for a reason and are intended to ensure your safety and that of road users.
In addition, you must obtain the owner’s permission to ride on private property. Infractions are subject to a fine of $250 to $500.
Well-well, well-well-well. So there are rules! It's just that the majority of snowmobilers around here choose to ignore them. So how do I change that?
I can't. The one thing that the government site doesn't bother to mention is how these rules are enforced. Who exactly can I call at 3 in the morning after I've been ripped out of my sleep by some ignorant, disrespectful rule-breaker? The cops? The last time we called the cops it was because there was a poacher out in the woods in our backyard randomly shooting at anything that moved. First the cop on the phone argued with me that it was probably fireworks...like I am too stupid to know the difference between the sound of fireworks and shotgun shots. Ahem. Then they showed up four hours later, sat in their car in our driveway for 5 minutes and left. If we call them for a snowmobile infraction, by the time they get here the snowmobile will be 300 km away.
Oh well, at least there are 5 less snowmobilers so far this year. I know this sounds heartless, and honestly my condolences go out to their families. But it means there are 5 less nuisances who could, potentially, zoom through my backyard showing off just how badly they can behave.