Snowmobile safety crackdown

A number of fatal snowmobile crashes in the Adirondack Park has police cracking down with sobriety checkpoints, and trying to get a message through to snowmobilers.

Posted: Feb 19, 2019 6:16 PM

"They’re coming at you like a 60mph bullet." Town of Webb Police Chief Ronald Johnston is just one of a small number of police officers trying to curb the number of fatal snowmobile accidents in the Adirondacks. It’s a big task for such a small amount of people, but they're taking a steps to curb the accidents by monitoring the trails.

"The majority of these fatal accidents can be avoided, and could have been avoided, if people would just keep their speeds down, and stay away from the alcohol until they’re done riding for the day."

Alex Bassey owns a camp in Big Moose, but tells us he and his family don’t go out on sleds after dark. He’s seen numbers of snowmobilers go out riding after drinking, and is afraid the trails have become too dangerous at night.

"People are going to do what they want to do whenever they want, and if one place closes down or doesn’t serve, they’re just going to the next one, and then that bar or that restaurant will do better than the one that was throwing everybody out. It’s a game. You know in the winter time up here income is scarce so nobody wants to shut down."

Sara Shanahan is the Owner of the Big Moose Station. It sits right on a main trail, so people can ride right up and have lunch and a drink. She tells us they’ve taken a proactive approach to keep riders from drinking at night.

"It’s a little different for those establishments that have rooms. They still need to be conscious of overserving and also ID-ing people as well. However for us, due to the fact that we’re just a bar and restaurant and not a hotel, we have chosen not to open late night for that reason."

Sara tells us most of the establishments try to be responsible about serving, and that everyone benefits when they do. There is one more thing they can do to help police cut down on the fatalities. The Town of Webb does have a small police agency, but they’re trying to get their message to the snowmobiling community with coasters with one simple message: Zero alcohol, your smart choice. 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 607001

Reported Deaths: 34362
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens866847343
Kings855617489
Bronx616175030
Nassau574892244
Suffolk573662036
Westchester476321502
New York429813222
Erie21873762
Richmond214321119
Rockland20824692
Orange16093517
Monroe13054313
Onondaga9470222
Dutchess6811185
Albany5233148
Broome4983135
Oneida4292146
Niagara3261103
Ulster310998
Chemung272432
Putnam252964
Schenectady218955
Sullivan210848
Saratoga200619
Steuben161087
Rensselaer155450
Chautauqua141416
Oswego13026
Ontario113537
Tioga105548
Wayne98312
Columbia97056
Tompkins9530
Cattaraugus91924
Cortland9131
Allegany86952
Madison83618
Genesee8198
Cayuga7627
St. Lawrence7059
Greene64618
Livingston6248
Herkimer60312
Chenango58310
Orleans58156
Otsego5528
Warren54735
Fulton46128
Jefferson4573
Washington43314
Clinton4305
Wyoming4305
Montgomery41312
Delaware3199
Lewis3159
Schuyler2743
Seneca2605
Essex25214
Franklin2436
Yates2427
Schoharie1762
Hamilton401
Out of NY0120
Unassigned017
Utica
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Oneonta
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 40°
Herkimer
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Thendara
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 40°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve