The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is reminding snowmobilers to respect other residents and the environment.

Since the start of the season, police officers have been trying to educate snowmobilers about the law with respect to travelling off trails or on private property.

In Québec, the driver of a snowmobile or any off-road vehicle must obtain permission from the property owner or the lessee of private land before travelling on the land.  The fine for not having permission ranges from $250 to $450.

The minimum age for driving a snowmobile or off-road vehicle in Québec is 16.  The fine for violating the law is $100.

The owner, or other person responsible for a snowmobile or off-road vehicle who allows the vehicle to be driven by a person under the age of 16 can be fined $450.

For snowmobile and off-road vehicle drivers aged 16 and 17, an aptitude certificate is mandatory.  The fine for not having a certificate is $450

It is forbidden to travel on public roads with a snowmobile or off-road vehicle in Québec except in special cases provided under legislation respecting off-highway vehicles.  Offenders can be fined $350.

Wearing a protective helmet is compulsory for both driver and passengers, no matter where the snowmobile or off-road vehicle is driven.  The fine for not wearing a helmet is $350.

SQ police officers will be carrying out surveillance operations in the coming weeks to target offending drivers, not only for safety violations but also under the Criminal Code for impaired driving due to alcohol and drugs.