To make the use of snowmobile trails safe and enjoyable for yourself and others, please know and practice the following snowmobile operating rules:
Any of the following activities while operating snowmobile may result in a fine:
Riding at a rate of speed that is unreasonable or improper under existing conditions or in excess of the maximum limits posted for vehicular traffic
Riding in a careless way so as to endanger the person or property of another
Riding while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or drugs
Riding on an area, trail, or roadway that is not open to snowmobile use
Riding without a securely fastened helmet
Where You Can Ride Your Snowmobile in Pennsylvania
Know before you go. It’s important you know what lands you will be riding on and if they are open to ATV use. Contact the appropriate land management agency to find out what is open.
Generally speaking, snowmobiles may be operated:
On private property with the consent of the owner
On state-owned property on clearly marked and previously designated trails
On highways and streets when necessary to cross a bridge or culvert
On highways and streets during periods of emergency when so declared by a governmental agency having jurisdiction
On highways and streets for special events of limited duration that are conducted according to a prearranged schedule under permit from the governmental unit having jurisdiction
On streets and highways that have been designated as “ATV or Snowmobile Roads” by the governmental agency having jurisdiction
A snowmobile may make a direct crossing of a street or two-lane highway if:
The crossing is made at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the direction of the highway and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing
The snowmobile is brought to a complete stop before crossing the highway
The driver yields the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard
The crossing of a divided highway is made at an intersection of that highway with another street or highway
Operation of Snowmobiles Youth
Children under the age of 16 are prohibited from:
Operate anywhere other than land owned or leased by a parent or guardian unless the child has a valid safety certificate or is under the direct supervision of a certified instructor during a certified safety training course
Operate across highways or connecting streets or operate on state park or state forest roads designated for joint use (use by both motor vehicles and snowmobiles or ATVs) unless the child has a valid safety certificate and is under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older
Drive on state or local highways, roads, or streets designated for joint use
Children under 10 are not eligible for a safety certificate and are prohibited from operating a snowmobile anywhere except private property.
Snowmobile Equipment Requirements
All snowmobiles operating in Pennsylvania must be equipped with:
A brake system capable of bringing the snowmobile to a stop, under normal conditions, within 40 feet when traveling at 20 miles per hour
A muffler in good working order -- the sound intensity produced by a snowmobile may not exceed 82dbA (decibels) for older machines, and 78dbA for snowmobiles made after January 1, 1976
An operating headlight and tail light if operating at dark or when visibility -- the headlight must produce a white light sufficient to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of 100 feet and the tail light must produce a red light plainly visible during darkness from a distance of 500 feet
Enforcement of Snowmobile Rules and Regulations
All law enforcement officers in the state, including local and state police, are authorized to enforce the Snowmobile/ATV Law. This includes:
State forest and state park lands -- DCNR rangers
State game lands -- wildlife conservation officers and deputy wildlife conservation officers
Municipal and state roadways -- municipal and state police
Private property -- municipal and state police
You must stop when signaled by a law enforcement officer. Failure to do so could result in fines and loss of your registration.
Failure to register your snowmobile or abide by the rules can be costly.
First offenses range from $50 to $200 plus the cost of prosecution.
A second offense carries a fine of $100 to $300 plus the cost of prosecution.
Failure to register your vehicle or failure to have liability insurance is an automatic $300 fine plus cost of prosecution.