CONCORD, NH — Winter is on its way, and off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) and snowmobile education classes are underway across the Granite State. To operate a snowmobile or OHRV in New Hampshire, any person age 12 or older must have either a valid motor vehicle driver’s license or have successfully completed an approved OHRV/Snowmobile Safety Education class taught by volunteer instructors and staff trained by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. With recent changes to the state laws, all classes will be a combination course teaching OHRV and snowmobile safety and the rules that apply to trail riders. Additionally, all children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult when operating a snowmobile or OHRV, unless they are on property belonging to their parents, grandparents, or guardians.

Sign up soon if you or someone you know needs a class. There is no charge for traditional classes, which are completed in a single day. For a current class schedule, visit www.wildnh.com/ohrv/education.html. New classes are added as they become available. Traditional classroom OHRV and Snowmobile safety education courses, taught by nearly 150 Fish and Game-certified volunteer instructors and regional coordinators, are available statewide free of charge and offer the preferred method of certification. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

As an alternative to the traditional courses, participants may complete the safety training online for a fee of $29.50. “The online courses provide a convenient opportunity for students to obtain their NH Rider Certificate, at their own pace, while learning key safety information important for riding both OHRVs and snowmobiles,” said Captain Michael Eastman, OHRV/Snowmobile Education and Law Enforcement Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. “The entire course can be taken on a smartphone, tablet, or computer and offers a fun approach to learning by using live-action video and interactive learning modules.”

Many of the trained volunteer instructors are affiliated with one of the more than 100 snowmobile clubs and 26 OHRV clubs in New Hampshire. “Joining a club is a great way to learn about safe riding, help support local landowners, and help maintain trails for your own and others’ enjoyment,” Eastman said. For more information on how to become involved with a snowmobile club, visit www.nhsa.com. For OHRV clubs, visit www.nhohva.org.

In addition to safety education, Fish and Game Conservation Officers will be out on the trails this winter conducting patrols to detect and apprehend impaired snowmobile operators, enforce speed limits, deter unlawful off-trail riding, and detect machines with modified exhaust. These ongoing initiatives will help to keep the state’s snowmobile trails open and safe for all outdoor enthusiasts during the upcoming seasons.

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