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Snowmobilers warned: Follow the rules

Echo Press file photo Before heading out on a snowmobile, law enforcement officials urge drivers to use caution when traveling within city limits. They also encourage snowmobilers to freshen up on the rules and regulations of snowmobiling.

The Alexandria Police Department would like to remind snowmobilers to use caution when traveling within the city limits and to be careful not to trespass.

Over the course of the past few weeks, the police department has received several complaints of snowmobilers going where they shouldn't.

Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said snowmobilers should familiarize themselves with the ordinances for the City of Alexandria before they venture out on the snow.

There are a few restrictions for snowmobilers within the city limits. The chief urges snowmobilers to check out the ordinances, which are listed on the police department's website at

Here is a look at some of the provisions within the ordinance, which also applies to ATVs:

•It is unlawful for any person to operate a snowmobile or ATV on a private property of another without the express permission to do so by the owners and occupant of said property.

•It is unlawful for snowmobiles and ATVs to go on public school grounds, park property, playgrounds, recreational areas and golf courses without express permission to do so by the proper public authority.

•Snowmobiles and ATVs can't be ridden on any public sidewalks or boulevards.

In May of last year, the Alexandria City Council adopted a resolution about snowmobiles, which states that snowmobile traffic is prohibited at all times on the following streets, avenues and roads within the city of Alexandria:

•Broadway Street.

•Highway 29.

•Cedar Street.

•Nokomis Street.

•Birch Avenue.

•Jefferson Street (except between 2nd and 11th).

•McKay Avenue north of the Central Lakes Trail.

•3rd Avenue.

•6th Avenue.

•10th Avenue.

•12th Avenue.

•Fairgrounds Road.

•Agnes Avenue.

The resolution also states that "snowmobile traffic shall be expressly and completely prohibited during all periods within the area of the city of Alexandria bounded on the north by 3rd Avenue and on the south by 10th Avenue, which is located between Fillmore and Irving Streets except at the intersection of 5th Avenue West at Fillmore Street; and bounded on the north by 8th Avenue and on the south by 10th Avenue, which is located between Nokomis and Lake Streets."

If anyone has questions about the snowmobiling ordinance for the city of Alexandria, they can call the Alexandria Police Department at (320) 763-6631.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) puts out a snowmobiling handbook each year that contains safety laws, rules and regulations.

Here's a look at just of few of those laws and regulations:

•Maximum speed for snowmobiles in Minnesota is 50 miles per hour.

•Public roadways should be crossed at a 90-degree angle.

•Snowmobilers need to stay off the median of four-lane roadways.

•Residents born after December 31, 1976 must have a snowmobile safety certificate in their possession or a snowmobile safety certificate indicator on their driver's license or ID card to operate a snowmobile in Minnesota.

•Current registration must be displayed.

•Snowmobilers must stay off the roadway, shoulder and inside slope of state and county roads. Snowmobilers may ride in the bottom or outside slope of a ditch of a county or state road.

The DNR's snowmobiling handbook may be found online at


According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources snowmobiling handbook, snowmobilers may not ride:

On the roadway, shoulder or inner slope of the ditch of a state or county road.

On the median of a four-lane roadway.

Within the right-of-way of any interstate.

On the right-of-way between opposing lanes of traffic.

Against traffic at night within the road right-of-way.

At airports.

In a tree nursery or planting area.

In any areas restricted by local ordinances or municipalities.

On any iced-over waters located in a restricted area or iced-over waters where you don't have legal access.