Legal Edge: Unexpected snowmobile laws

Legal Edge

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – While snowmobiling is a fun wintertime activity for many families across Michigan, it’s important to keep in mind the laws and regulations surrounding them.

Local legal expert Bryan Waldman weighs in on these unexpected rules.

“People are surprised that you don’t need a driver’s license to operate a snowmobile,” said Waldman, but operating a snowmobile with a suspended or revoked license, driving a snowmobile is a crime.

It’s a misdemeanor, said Waldman.

While it’s illegal to drive a snowmobile with a suspended or revoked license, those who have never had a license don’t need one.

“People are confused,” said Waldman.

Children 12 to 17-years-old can drive a snowmobile when supervised by an adult, or have a safety certificate.

Children 11 and under can drive a snowmobile when supervised, unless they’re on property controlled or owned by their guardian(s).

“All children need a safety certificate when crossing roads,” said Waldman.

While snowmobiles don’t have a set speed limit, there are laws in place that require drivers to drive in a “reasonable or prudent speed based on the conditions,” such as visibility and wind conditions.

Violating this can result in a citation.

Like any other motor vehicle, drinking and driving is illegal.

The legal limits for alcohol are the same.

Those caught drinking and driving a snowmobile will receive points on their license.

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