The main purpose of the Chautauqua County Sheriffs Snowmobile Patrol is to insure safety on the numerous snowmobile trails in this county. This is accomplished by education of the public, snowmobile inspections for required equipment, search and rescue operations, and enforcement of the New York State Park and Recreation Laws.
The Chautauqua County Sheriffs Office prides itself in having a presence on the snowmobile trails of this county and we have established ourselves as an agency willing to assist the public. The snowmobile unit is partially funded by NYS reimbursement from snowmobile registration fees to help offset the costs to the Sheriffs Office.
Some of the topics listed in this outline are very general in content and to be used as a guide for your safety. A much more in-depth rendition of the laws is available by going on line to the New York State Parks and Recreation web site. www.nysparks.com
Step 1: Equipment
1. Helmet; All persons riding on a snowmobile must wear a helmet at all times.
every snowmobile must have an adequate exhaust system in good working
condition. No snowmobile shall be modified by any person in any manner
that will amplify or increase total noise emission to a level greater
than that emitted by that snowmobile as originally equipped. This is
extremely important due to the fact that one of the biggest reasons
for trail closures in are area is loud exhausts on snowmobiles.
5. Registration numbers and validation sticker; every snowmobile operated in NYS off of your own property must be registered in NYS. You are required to display your registration numbers on the cowling along with your validation sticker, and you must carry a copy of your registration with you. Any other placement of registration, or validation stickers are illegal. Out of state residents must also register their snowmobile in NYS and display a NYS validation sticker.
every snowmobile operated in NYS other than on your own property, are
required to have liability insurance. If you operate your snowmobile
on any public or private lands owned by another person, or any portion
of a roadway you are required to carry liability insurance on your snowmobile.
You are also required to carry a valid insurance card with you while
you are riding.
SStep 2: Ages of Operation / Safety Course
It is a designated and properly signed snowmobile road (unplowed highway)
You are crossing the roadway at a 90 deg angle and have made a complete stop before crossing, and must yield to any oncoming traffic.
You can travel on the shoulder of the roadway for a distance not to exceed 500 yards to gain access to a trailhead, or to avoid hazards such as culverts or ditches but you must stop and yield to vehicles before doing so.
You may travel on the outer banks of roadways to gain access to trails, but not on the property of other persons without their permission.