Ruud authors legislation to improve snowmobile safety

Bill increases penalties for snowmobilers leaving approved trails onto private land.

Carrie Ruud
Carrie Ruud

ST. PAUL — State Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, recently presented legislation in the Senate Environment Policy and Legacy Finance Committee that seeks to improve snowmobile safety by increasing penalties and fines given to snowmobile operators who knowingly leave trails to trespass on private property.

Minnesota is home to over 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobiles trails, with over 21,000 of those miles maintained by local snowmobile club volunteers, contributing to a $ 1 billion industry that drives tourism throughout the state.

There are currently approximately 220,000 registered snowmobiles in Minnesota.

“Snowmobile clubs work in tandem with landowners to maintain trails and educate snowmobile operators. It is frustrating to see snowmobilers knowingly leaving marked trails regardless of signage. This bill increases the penalties for doing so, which we hope will act as a stronger deterrent for encouraging snowmobile operators to stay on marked trails,” Ruud said in a news release.

This bill now heads to the Civil Law Committee.

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