Modes of Transportation

Snowmobiles: Common Sense

To enjoy snowmobiling safely, it is important to obey the law and behave responsibly. This ensures your own safety and the safety of others.

Mandatory Equipment

For you and any passengers

Anyone operating or being pulled behind a snowmobile (such as on a sled, for example) must wear:

For snowmobiles

In addition to the mandatory basic equipment provided by the manufacturer, all snowmobiles must be equipped with a red rear brake light, a rear-view mirror firmly attached to the left side of the vehicle and a speedometer.

Modifying any part of a snowmobile’s muffler is strictly prohibited.

Before going on a snowmobile outing

  • Tell your family or friends where you are going and when you plan to arrive.
  • Inspect your snowmobile to make sure it is in good mechanical condition.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to prevent hypothermia.
  • Bring a first-aid kit and a survival kit.

On the snowmobile trail

  • Respect your abilities: snowmobiling experience, fatigue, degree of familiarity with your surroundings, etc.
  • Ride on the right-hand side of the trail.
  • Reduce your speed when in unfamiliar terrain.
  • Obey signs and signals.
  • Be extra cautious when crossing roads and railway tracks.

Obey speed limits!

Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limit when snowmobiling is 70 km/h.

Within 30 metres of a residence, however, the speed limit is 30 km/h, even if no sign is posted.

Snowmobiling at night

  • Slow down! Your headlight reduces your peripheral field of vision.
  • Avoid riding alongside roads as lights from other vehicles could blind you.

Snowmobiling on lakes and rivers

  • Contact local authorities or the local snowmobiling club to check ice conditions.
  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Snow-covered obstacles, such as wharves, may also pose a threat, especially at night.

A wealth of additional information on snowmobiling, such as hand signals and what to include in a basic survival kit, can be found on the websites of the Ministère des Transports (this section of the website in French only) and the Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec.

For your safety and that of others

We strongly recommend that you do not:

  • ride on railway tracks
  • ride alone
  • leave children unsupervised with youth snowmobiles
  • leave young children unattended in snowmobile sleds
  • go snowmobiling with an infant (infants cannot endure the cold)

Drinking and snowmobiling: same rules, same penalties

Driving a snowmobile when your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, drugs or medication is prohibited. The Criminal Code also applies to the operation of off-road vehicles.

If you commit an offence under the Highway Safety Code on a public road, trail, or any other area that is not covered by this Code, the same penalties apply as for a driving offence while at the wheel of any other type of motorized vehicle.

Snowmobiling: statistics to think about

Reports from the coroner's office (website in French only) reveal that speeding, drinking and carelessness are the leading causes of fatal snowmobile accidents. Some facts:

  • approximately 51% of victims are aged between 20 and 39
  • the proportion of snowmobilers involved in a fatal accident whose blood alcohol concentration was above 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood is considerably higher than the proportion of drivers of other road vehicles 
  • circumstances of death show that snowmobiles are sometimes used to go from one establishment that serves alcohol to another

Last update: September 12, 2021