With the first snow storm of the season underway locally, it’s a fitting day for Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol’s press conference about snowmobile safety at the Deerfield firehouse.
While snowmobiling is a big boost to local tourism, it’s important to make sure that snowmobilers are following safety rules. Law enforcement, firefighters and emergency crews see all too often the results of unsafe riding on our local trails.
Those kinds of experiences are what led the head of the RUSSH Safety Campaign to devote his time to keeping all snowmobilers safe.
"Over 25 years ago, a good friend of mine and I were riding and I thought I saw him die that day,” Leahy said. “He made some poor decisions on the road. He didn't know where he was, and again, I will never be able to un-see that. So, when people ask me why I started this, it keeps taking me back to that exact reason.”
Leahy says the biggest problem he saw last year was a lot of people riding over their skill levels on trails they weren’t familiar with. His advice is to slow down and keep to the right, especially on blind corners.