As winter arrives, DNR urges snowmobile safety - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

As winter arrives, DNR urges snowmobile safety

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The recent snow is bringing out Minnesota snowmobilers, and safety officials are urging them to be careful.

Capt. Mike Hammer of the Department of Natural Resources says speed kills with snowmobiles.

Hammer points out that snowmobiles can travel as fast, or faster, than automobiles. And he says they require every bit as much or more experience to operate. While modern sleds easily can reach 70 miles an hour and even push 100, they don't stop like cars or offer the same protection.

Minnesota's speed limit for all snowmobile trails, public lands and waters is 50 mph.

The usual causes of snowmobile accidents are operator inexperience, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and high speeds.

The DNR suggests its giving safety courses on CDs as holiday stocking stuffers.

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