International Snowmobile Safety Week kicked off Monday with a local riding group reminding Manitobans to take precautions before heading out on trails.

Snowman, an organization that promotes safety for snowmobilers, said riders need to treat snowmobiling like they would driving a car.

“You should never take alcohol or drugs when you’re going riding,” said Ken Lucko of Snowman Inc.

Lucko added riders should never go alone. “If you’re going somewhere, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back,” he said.

Manitoba has over 12,000 kilometres of trails, ranking third in the country for most trails.

He also advises taking safety precautions well in advance of the trip. “Carry a first aid kit. Make sure your sled is maintained so it’s reliable. Carry a tool kit with you,” Lucko said.

Riders must also purchase a $125 season pass in order to use Manitoba’s trail system. Those passes can be purchased at any Manitoba Public Insurance location.

Anyone caught without a pass will be fined $407.

For more information on snowmobile safety and regulations in Manitoba, visit