Captain Michael Eastman: (603) 271-3129
Marie Hixson: (603) 271-3129
December 4, 2020
Concord, NH – Although retailers have been experiencing banner snowmobile sales in recent months, in-person off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) and snowmobile education classes will not be offered throughout the Granite State as in previous years due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As an alternative to these traditional courses, participants may complete their safety training online for a fee of $29.50.
“The online safety courses provide a convenient opportunity for new operators to obtain their NH Rider Certificate, at their own pace, while learning key safety information important for riding both OHRVs and snowmobiles,” said Captain Michael Eastman, OHRV/Snowmobile Education and Law Enforcement Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. “The entire course can be taken on a smartphone, tablet, or computer and offers a fun approach by using live-action video and interactive learning modules.”
To operate a snowmobile or OHRV in New Hampshire unaccompanied, any person age 12 or older must have either a valid motor vehicle driver’s license or have successfully completed an approved OHRV/Snowmobile Safety Education class. With recent changes to the state laws, all online classes will be a combination of practical OHRV and snowmobile safety and the rules that apply to all trail riders. Additionally, all children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult when operating a snowmobile or OHRV, unless they are on property belonging to their parents, grandparents, or guardians.
To register for an online safety class visit www.wildnh.com/ohrv/education.html.
“From 2018 through the winter of 2020, 68 percent of accidents on New Hampshire’s trails were caused by OHRV and snowmobile operator inexperience, and of that number, 96 percent were attributed to excessive speeds,” said Eastman. “As we look forward to a very busy season on the state’s white highways this winter, safety and operator awareness must be every rider’s priority.”
Many of the trained volunteer instructors who would traditionally facilitate in-person classes are affiliated with one of the more than 100 snowmobile and 26 OHRV clubs in New Hampshire. “Joining a club is a great way to learn about safe riding, help support local landowners, and help maintain trails for your own and others’ enjoyment,” continued Eastman.
In addition to safety education, NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers will be out on the trails this winter conducting patrols to detect and apprehend impaired snowmobile operators, enforce speed limits, deter unlawful off-trail riding, and identify machines with modified exhaust systems. These ongoing initiatives will help to keep the state’s snowmobile trails open and safe for all outdoor enthusiasts during the upcoming seasons.