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Officials urge safety following

The state parks office also reminds riders to check weather conditions before venturing out, and Ash noted that keeping to marked trails where snowmobiling is permitted is required.

"Good preparation is essential to minimize the risks and maximize the fun of snowmobiling," Ash said.

McCulley said common sense is generally the difference between a fun day on the trails and accidents.

"People who don't use common sense run into trouble," he said.

McCulley added there's a few things the state can do to make common sense snowmobiling the law, not just a suggestion.

"I think there's some things that the state needs to do to promote snowmobile safety," he said. "Making mirrors mandatory on snowmobiles is one of them. I really think that'd be an important adjustment. I think a lot of people are injured every year because they're looking back to see where their friends are; whereas if they had a mirror, they could just look to the side and they'd know where they are."

While not necessarily an issue of safety - although it could be perceived as such - McCulley reminded riders not to enter private land.

"Trespass is one of our biggest problems in snowmobiling," he said. "Even if you know a person and you're driving across their land, unless they've given you expressed permission to go across that land, you do not have the right to leave the trail system and go across someone else's property."

McCulley said often times, snowmobilers believe they have the right to enter private property because of registration fees they've paid.

McCulley also stressed another issue not exactly in the realm of snowmobile safety.

"It's time that snowmobilers that are running illegal pipes be taken to task for it," he said. "The biggest complaint about snowmobiling is noise. Well, there's maybe five percent of sleds with illegal pipes creating 90 percent of the problems. There's laws on it; I've been talking to DEC officials, and I'm hoping they're going to enforce those laws."

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