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  1. #1
    95Mustang is offline Junior Member
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    Snowmobile on Road

    Last Friday night a friend and I decided to take advantage of the first good amount of snow and go snowmobiling. We live 1 block from a groomed trail so we jumped on that road to get some food and started heading home. On the way home my machine experienced some mechanical problems. Being very close to home we decided to tow the sled home. Because the trail takes a round about way we decided it would be quicker and safer to ride the sides of the road. While on the road we were pulled over by an officer. He checked our registrations and trail permits which all were legal except for the fact that we had our permits in our wallets instead of on our sleds. He told us we was giving us a warning for this which was fine with me. He then gave us both a ticket for riding on the side of the road. I argued that this was not illegal but he strongly insisted I was wrong. I have snowmobiled for 20 years and taken snowmobile safety classes that have always said this was legal. The Michigan Secratery of State and DNR websites state "A snowmobile may be operated on the right-of-way of a public highway (except a limited-access highway) if it is operated at the extreme right of the open portion of the right-of-way and with the flow of traffic on the highway. Snowmobiles operated on a road right-of-way must travel in single file and shall not be operated abreast except when overtaking or passing another snowmobile. When I told him I was going to fight this ticket he became very angry and threatened to give me a ticket for the trail permit and have the machines towed. So at this point I feel I have gotten a ticket for something that is legal as well as being threatened by a police officer because I stated I inteaded to use my right to "Due Process of the Law". Am I correct?????
  2. #2
    Maestro64 is offline Member
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    Well I know nothing about the rules as the related to snowmobiles on the roads, it sounds like you know exactly what you are talking about, and you ran into someone who thought they knew the law and now it going to cost you time and money to straighten it out.

    First thing to do is look up the state statue the officer cited you for and see what it says about you situation. If what you claim is true the statue should back you up. you take this information to the court and ask the officer to justify his position as defined by the law. most likely they can not if nothing in the law say it is illegal to ride a snowmobile on the road as you describe.


    Without understanding the statue the officer cited you can not begin to defend yourself. Start there and see what it says as it related to your situation, you can post it back here to get further comment.
    Last edited by Maestro64; 12-09-2008 at 09:16 PM.
  3. #3
    patstew is offline Member
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by 95Mustang View Post
    ...Being very close to home we decided to tow the sled home. Because the trail takes a round about way we decided it would be quicker and safer to ride the sides of the road.

    ...The Michigan Secratery of State and DNR websites state "A snowmobile may be operated on the right-of-way of a public highway (except a limited-access highway) if it is operated at the extreme right of the open portion of the right-of-way and with the flow of traffic on the highway. Snowmobiles operated on a road right-of-way must travel in single file and shall not be operated abreast except when overtaking or passing another snowmobile.
    According to your own words, the snowmobile was being towed, not operated. What was towing it? Was the ticket issued on the snowmobile or on the tow vehicle?
  4. #4
    95Mustang is offline Junior Member
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    We were pulling it with the other snowmobile, very common when one breaks down. He gave both me and my friend tickets for the same issue, I was riding the tow sled and my friend was riding mine being pulled. There are a few other things that burn me. 1, was approx 10:00 p.m. and 10 deg F. He was in a Tahoe and never offered to let us sit in the truck while he ran our info. I understand he doesn't have to but you know how long it takes to get all the info. We stood out there for approx 10-15 min. Not much you can do to stay warm at that point. 2, when we asked if we could call my wife to bring the truck and trailer so we could just trailer them home he told us "No, and they better be moved within the next 5 min or I will write you another ticket for the same being on the road again." My house was literally 4 miles away. Why waist your time cleaning up the streets or stopping real crime when you can ticket people who are trying to get home safe after experiencing misfortune, late at night, in below freezing weather.
  5. #5
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Don't come here whining about the weather conditions you chose to go out into, please. Thank you.

    Now, what state are you in, and what is the statute number(s) you are being charged with?
  6. #6
    patstew is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95Mustang View Post
    We were pulling it with the other snowmobile, very common when one breaks down. He gave both me and my friend tickets for the same issue, I was riding the tow sled and my friend was riding mine being pulled.
    Sounds like you may be able to appeal successfully the ticket for the sled that was being operated.

    There are a few other things that burn me. 1, was approx 10:00 p.m. and 10 deg F. He was in a Tahoe and never offered to let us sit in the truck while he ran our info. I understand he doesn't have to but you know how long it takes to get all the info. We stood out there for approx 10-15 min. Not much you can do to stay warm at that point.
    I'd guess that might depend on how arrogant or entitled the person he stops is -- absent this, did you ask if you could sit in the truck?

    2, Why waist your time cleaning up the streets or stopping real crime when you can ticket people who are trying to get home safe after experiencing misfortune, late at night, in below freezing weather.
    So you just want them to enforce the laws you don't break?

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