Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Safety education for snowmobiling enthusiasts in Illinois


Illinois gets its fair share of snow every year. Vast stretches of land across the state are covered in snow, which attracts many snowmobile enthusiasts. Sadly, winters in Illinois are often unpredictable and any lapse in safety measures can lead to serious consequences for a person who enjoys a snowmobile ride in the countryside. However, if snowmobiling enthusiasts take some basic precautions, they may be able to avoid the various hazards associated with snowmobiling.

According to existing Illinois law, a person under the age of 10 years is not allowed to operate a snowmobile. Those who are between 10 and 12 years may operate a snowmobile under the direct supervision of an adult. In order to educate people at a young age, Illinois offers the Snowmobile Education Course. After completing the course and taking the course examination, trainees can obtain the State of Illinois Certificate of Competency. The course is important for those aged 12 to 16 years because the certificate entitles them to operate a snowmobile without adult supervision.

In order to pursue this course, Illinois residents have two options. The first option is an instructor-led classroom program, which offers eight hours of training followed by an exam. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education awards the Certificate of Competency after the trainee has successfully attended the course and passed the test. The other option is online self-study. After completing the study and passing the test, the course provider mails the certificate to the trainee.

Recreational activities like snowmobiling and jet skiing can be fun, but without proper safety measures they can easily cause knee injuries, neck injuries, back injuries and even brain injuries if an accident is serious. While enthusiasts may be able to avoid many risks through training and education, some factors, such as the lack of snowmobile maintenance or the lack of maintenance of a snowmobile track, can lead to serious injuries. In that case, the snowmobiling facility owner may be held liable.

Source: DNR.Illinois.gov, "Snowmobile Safety Education," Accessed on April 29, 2015

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