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Associated Press, Published January 14 2012

Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Week starts Sunday

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — This has been a disappointing winter for Minnesota snowmobilers so far, but Gov. Mark Dayton has set Sunday as the start of Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week in Minnesota.

Capt. Mike Hammer with the Department of Natural Resources says there's a lot of “pent up riding excitement” during low-snow seasons like this. Only northeastern Minnesota has significant snow cover so far, and even there many trails are in poor condition.

Hammer says he's concerned for what happens when anxious snowmobilers suddenly hit the trails all at once when good snow finally arrives.

Some basic safety reminders from the DNR and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association: don't drink and drive; slow down, avoid ice of uncertain thickness on lakes and ponds, be prepared, watch the weather and never travel alone.