The rules of the trails - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The rules of the trails

by John Wilmer

BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -- The DNR as well as a number of agencies have been cracking down on snowmobilers.

The Iowa Snowmobile Association reports that there are almost 40,000 riders in the state. This winter authorities have been extremely busy as those riders have hit the trails, made possible by the large amount of snow fall in eastern Iowa.  

Dick Melick has been enjoying the past time of snowmobiling for decades. He also has been teaching a rider safety course for more than 30 years.

"Over 70 percent of the serious accidents, drinking and speed and the two major factors, Melick said.

"I'm looking for registration.  I'm making sure the kids have their safe tickets that way everybody's out there to have a good time recreating and it can be a family event. Everyone can stay safe and be responsible," Conservation Officer Aron Arthur said.

In the Black Hawk, Bremer, and surrounding county there are numerous trails. In the Five Star Trails there are around 250 miles of trails.

"It's a great family sport, and that's the way our club the Sno Hawks in Cedar Falls has been a family club," Melick said.

Melick also says that he will keep riding as long as he can and teaching other the right way to ride.

"For all snowmobiler, when you're out riding follow the law. If you don't know what it is, get a copy of the book which is put out by the DNR."

Across the state there are around 5,000 miles of trails.

Officers are focusing on drinking and driving snowmobiles in Iowa. Ten people have been charged with drunken snowmobiling in just the past two weeks.      

DNR officers have partnered with the state patrol to stop more than 200 snowmobile operators. Under Iowa law, snowmobilers are subject to the same drunken driving laws as motorists.


Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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