Why are SANS trails safe? They are clearly marked and well-defined corridors with few dangerous surprises. Because they are groomed and used regularly, overall they are smoother and wider, with better sight lines and fewer hazardous corners, intersections, inclines and obstacles. Most water crossings and ditches are bridged and water/ice is usually staked, marked or tree lined. Traffic signs are prevalent throughout the system to give riders as much advance warning as possible of trail conditions ahead.
Read Safety Tips
Safe Ice Conditions
OHV Regulation Handbook
SANS Risk Management
What is Risk Management?
Risk Management is the strategic identification, analysis, and control of liability.
As an off-road activity, organized snowmobiling is inherently risky due to the fact that it occurs in an unpredictable environment.
The Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia assumes that each user of our trail system does so at their own risk and understands and accepts the "Assumptions of SANS Trail Use" as follows;
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- All snowmobiles will be operated under a valid SANS trail permit.
- All operators and passengers willingly use the trails at their own risk.
- Operators and passengers know and will obey the laws pertaining to the operation of Off Highway Vehicles in the province of Nova Scotia.
- It is recognized and accepted that snowmobiling is essentially an off-road activity taking place in an unpredictable natural environment.
- The SANS is a volunteer-based organization with finite resources.
- It is not practical, possible or desirable to maintain all trails uniformly or to remove all potential hazards.
- The SANS provides the privilege of trail access without any guarantee of service or quality.
- Operators and passengers will not consume alcohol and/or drugs prior to or while using the trails.
- Operators and passengers will be prudent and responsible and shall ensure that snowmobiles are operated with appropriate care and control at all times.
- Operators and passengers know how to snowmobile competently and understand that the operation of snowmobiles requires full cognitive abilities.
- Weather conditions affect trails and snowmobile operation and they may change without warning.
- There may be permitted users on the trail other than snowmobilers.
- Operators will stay to the right of the trail, notwithstanding that there are no centre lines.
- Operators know that there may be grooming or other maintenance activities under way any time; day or night. This activity may take up the whole or any part of the trail and has the right of way.
- Operators and passengers know that snowmobile trails are not engineered highways.
- All operators and passengers know and will adhere to the principles published as the Safe Riders Pledge by the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association.
- Operators and passengers are aware that emergency and cell phone service may not be available.
- Operators and passengers are aware that there are generally no legal requirements for signage on trails and when provided, it is only for assistance and convenience.
- Operators and passengers know that snowmobiling on SANS trails is regarded as a family-oriented activity.
- Operators and passengers know the unique and particular dangers of ice crossing.
- The grooming and maintenance of trails, when provided, is meant solely to enhance the comfort and enjoyment of the safe and prudent operators and passengers.
- Operators and passengers will dress appropriately for all conditions and will have appropriate safety and emergency equipment at all times.