Take a class: Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week is January 16-24

Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week from Jan. 16 to Jan. 24 is a good time to sign up or take a class on how to safely operate a snowmobile, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

To legally ride a snowmobile in Minnesota, residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, need a valid snowmobile safety certificate. There are two ways to do this. First, the traditional classroom course, taught in local communities by volunteers, is available for anyone 11 or older.

Second, the course can be taken online followed by a hands-on ride and review day with volunteer instructors. Students will have an opportunity to review the material they learned online and demonstrate the skills they’ve learned by operating a snowmobile through a designated course. These are listed on the DNR website

Remember to reduce speed according to riding conditions and never consume alcohol when snowmobiling. Consider joining a snowmobile club. For more information, visit the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association page.

For a copy of the DNR’s 2015-2016 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157, or visit the snowmobile regulations page

More than 1,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state. For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit: www.mndnr.gov/safety/vehicle/snowmobile/traditional.html.