Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling may seem like a fun and easy winter sport, but you should remember that there are restrictions to where and how you may drive a snowmobile. You must also remember that you are obliged to wear a helmet and be old enough to drive.

Who is allowed to drive a snowmobile?

  • People over the age of 15 are allowed to drive snowmobiles.
  • On official snowmobile routes, when crossing a road or when driving on roads in special exceptional circumstances allowed for in the law, the snowmobile driver must have at least a category T driving licence. 

Snowmobile driver equipment

  • Snowmobile drivers and passengers must wear helmets.
  • A functional driving suit equipped with reflectors intended for snowmobile drivers increases safety and protects the driver from wind and frost.
  • Snowmobile shoes reduce the risk of injury and driving glasses protect the driver from wind and whirling snow.
  • Driving gloves designed for snowmobile driving keep the hands warm and make using the controls easier.

Speed limits

  • The maximum allowed speed of a snowmobile on land terrain is 60 km/h.
  • When driving on roads in exceptional situations, the speed limit is 40 km/h.
  • The maximum speed of snowmobiles on ice-covered water areas is 80 km/h, with the exception of snowmobile routes, where the limit is 60 km/h.
  • If a sled used for transporting people is attached to the snowmobile, the maximum allowed speed is 40 km/h.

Transporting passengers

Anyone riding on top of a snowmobile must wear a helmet. Helmets are not compulsory in a covered sled, but anyone travelling in an uncovered sled must wear a helmet. Sleds may be used to transport up to one person, if the sled is equipped with a seat and foot rests for the passenger and the registration certificate allows for transportation of passengers. If the registration certificate does not specify a number of passengers, the presence of seats and foot rests determines whether a passenger may be transported.

Where can I drive a snowmobile?

Snowmobiles may be used

  • on official snowmobile routes
  • on snowmobile tracks maintained by municipalities and Metsähallitus.

Snowmobile routes

Driving on roads

Driving snowmobiles on roads is strictly controlled

  • Snowmobiles may not be used on roads, road areas, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, bike routes or the shoulder of the road. Shoulders of roads are considered road areas. Beyond that, the road area covers two metres outside the outer edge of the ditch or slope next to the road. This means that the ban on driving on the road covers a substantial area outside just the ploughed road. In short, the road area covers the ploughed shoulder, ditch and slope in addition to the ploughed road itself.
  • You may, however, cross the road with a snowmobile if the snowmobile track continues beyond the road, for example. You may drive a snowmobile on the road if it is impossible to drive the snowmobile outside the road area due to poor driving conditions in the terrain. Using a bridge to cross an unfrozen creek is a typical example of deviating from the rule to not drive on roads. In this case you should also use the unploughed section of road, where possible.
  • You may drive to a refuelling station, if the station is located in the immediate vicinity of the track.
  • You may not transport passengers in the sled when driving on the road.
  • You may drive the snowmobile on deserted forest roads when the ground is covered with snow, if the party in charge of the road has specifically closed the road off from other motor vehicles.

 

Good to know

  • Drunk-driving regulations also apply to snowmobile drivers. The limit for drunk-driving is a blood alcohol content of 0.5 per mille, and for aggravated drunk-driving the limit is 1.2 per mille.
  • The traffic on snowmobile routes is subject to the stipulations of the Road Traffic Act. The traffic on the routes is right-sided.
  • Appropriate driving equipment keeps the unprotected driver safe, and pre-emptive driving at an appropriate speed prevents accidents.
  • You must avoid causing any damage or harm to nature and the environment, real property and natural livelihoods as well as avoid causing unnecessary disruptions to other people and the environment.
  • Snowmobiles must be registered and have motor liability insurance. The licence plate must be attached to the snowmobile and the registration certificate must be kept handy when using the snowmobile.