Many jurisdictions across North America and around the world have implemented rules and bylaws regarding snowmobiles. Below are some links to snowmobile bylaws in the Yukon, a quick-reference guide to common snowmobile rules, and some information regarding licensing and registration requirements.
Yukon Bylaw Links:
Basic Operating Rules:
Note: This is a simplified quick-reference guide only, please refer to the rules and bylaws for the areas you plan to snowmobile for the actual regulations.
- Always wear appropriate clothing and an approved helmet when operating and/or riding a snowmobile.
- A snowmobile should never be operated in such a manner that can reasonably be considered a nuisance or annoyance to other residents or visitors.
- All snowmobiles must have a properly working headlight, tail light and brake light.
- Muffler cut-outs, bypasses, straight exhausts, or similar volume-increasing devices should not be used.
- Public liability insurance is usually required for all snowmobiles operating within city limits or on any kind of roadway.
- If a person is a resident of Whitehorse, they must obtain a Whitehorse Safe Snowmobiler Card before operating a snowmobile within the city limits.
- Never operate a snowmobile on private property without first obtaining the permission of the owner or occupant.
- Whenever possible, avoid operating snowmobiles between 11 PM and 7 AM.
- A rigid tow bar should be used between a snowmobile and any towed object.
- When driving a snowmobile from their place of residence, an operator should take the most direct route to the nearest place where they may lawfully operate a snowmobile. Snowmobiles should not be operated on any roads or highways for any other purpose.
- A snowmobile must yield the right of way to all other motor vehicles and pedestrians.
- When operating a snowmobile on a roadway never operate on a sidewalk, but always stay as near to the right hand curb or edge of road as practical.
- When operating a snowmobile across a highway or road:
– Always stop before entering onto any kind of highway or roadway
– Yield the right of way to any approaching vehicles or pedestrians
– Drive across as near as possible to right angles
- Unless otherwise posted, the maximum speed allowed on a snowmobile in Whitehorse city limits is 50 km/h.
- Upon meeting or passing pedestrians, skiers, dogs, etc., snowmobilers must slow to 15 km/h or less and move over as far away as practical to allow safe passing.
- In Whitehorse snowmobiles may not be operated in these areas at any time:
– Downtown and on the Millennium Trail
– Boulevards and other restricted roadways
– Campgrounds, cemeteries and playgrounds
– Designated environmentally sensitive areas
– Ski trails
– Open water
- Every driver of a snowmobile must stop immediately if they are signaled or requested to stop by an officer, must remain stopped until the officer permits them to leave, and must provide any information required.
Snowmobile Licensing and Registration Requirements in the Yukon:
Most public lands in the Yukon are open to snowmobile use. However, there are restrictions for some environmentally protected areas, some first nations lands, and some industrial areas. Also, snowmobile use is restricted or prohibited in several areas within some municipalities. Please check the areas you will be riding in prior to your ride to ensure there are no restrictions on snowmobile use in those areas.
- Helmet use is required at all times by any operators and passengers under 16, and at all times by everyone operating on or across a roadway
- When operating a snowmobile on or across any roadway you must have a valid drivers license, registration, insurance, and follow the rules of the road
- Never operate a snowmobile on private property without prior permission from the owner or occupant
In addition to the Yukon laws, as of January 2013 all persons operating a snowmobile within the City of Whitehorse are required to have the following:
- Either a Whitehorse Safe Snowmobile Card or proof that you are not a resident of Whitehorse
- A valid drivers license
- Public liability insurance
- Valid registration
- Be wearing an approved helmet at all times while operating snowmobiles
Regardless of whether or not it’s mandatory for the area you’re riding in, for everyone’s safety the K.S.A. highly recommends that everyone uses lights, wears helmets, and carries public liability insurance at all times when operating snowmobiles.