As the winter of 2013-14 progresses in northern Wisconsin and the number of snowmobiles on area trails increases, so does the temptation by some of those snowmobile operators to not follow signs.
Signs are there to save not only their lives but possibly the lives of others.
Dale Soltow, a lieutenant with the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department, said getting some snowmobile operators to obey simple traffic signs, such a stop sign, seems to be a pretty big issue.
“Always with the snowmobiles,” he said. “Not all of them, obviously, but with a lot of them. They tend to not stop for the stop signs, especially not the ones that are by driveways.”
Soltow said many people just think there won’t be traffic at those locations.
“But you never know when someone will be pulling out of their driveway,” he said. “I know we’ve responded to crashes before with people (on snowmobiles) running into the sides of vehicles at driveways. You just never know when there is a vehicle coming or any other type of equipment.”
Soltow said the department’s snowmobile patrol starts soon but added department personnel are out there now.
“Law enforcement on the trails is occurring with wheeled vehicles where and when possible,” he said.
Brian Jopek may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.