Maj. Tim Acerno: (603) 271-3129
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
December 20, 2004

Snowmobile "Skimming" Outlawed

CONCORD, N.H. -- As of January 1, 2005, the dangerous practice of operating snowmobiles on open water, also known as skimming, is illegal in New Hampshire. "Open water" refers to any area of an inland water body that is free of ice and snow. The only exception will be special events authorized by permit.

"The new law against skimming will save lives. It's as simple as that," said Maj. Timothy Acerno, who oversees the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) Education Program. "It also will keep snow machines off the bottom of the lake, where they release gas and oil into the water -- substances that are hazardous for fish and wildlife. Skimming is expensive for the person who has to pay to have the sled hauled out, dried out and repaired, not to mention the hefty environmental fines involved."

Acerno noted that Fish and Game Conservation Officers will be out on the trails all winter setting up sobriety checkpoints, using radar to enforce speed limits and monitoring for skimming violations to promote safe and responsible riding in the state.

"Snowmobiling is a great way for folks to get outside and have fun, but riders have a responsibility to obey the rules of the trails, to be courteous and -- most of all -- to ride safely," Acerno said.

For those interested in learning more about safe snowmobiling, Acerno recommends joining a local snowmobile club. The New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA), with more than 100 member clubs, works with the state to manage over 6,800 miles of trails and provide safety education to more than 2,500 children each year. Click here to find a club near you.

Click here for a current list of snowmobile safety education classes, and more information on OHRV regulations in New Hampshire.


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