Snowmobile legislation to be eased

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 28.12.2018 12.02
Press release
Snowmobiles on ice (Photo: Shutterstock)
Snowmobiles on ice (Photo: Shutterstock)

The use of larger, more powerful snowmobiles will be permitted on snowmobile routes designated for this purpose and separately designated routes.

The President of the Republic of Finland ratified amendments to the Vehicles Act, Driving Licence Act, Cross-Country Traffic Act on 28 December 2018.

A definition for 'heavy snowmobile' will be added to the Vehicles Act. A heavy snowmobile is a snowmobile whose unladen mass is no more than 0.8 tonnes, i.e. 300 kilograms more than the unladen mass of a (standard) snowmobile. Furthermore, a heavy snowmobile can seat no more than four people in addition to the driver, as opposed to a snowmobile, which can seat no more than two people in addition to the driver.

A heavy snowmobile may be driven on snowmobile routes that have been deemed suitable by the route operator and marked with additional 'snowmobile route' signs. A Category T driving licence is required to operate a heavy snowmobile.

Under the amendment, the maximum allowable width of snowmobiles, heavy snowmobiles and trailers used with them on snowmobile routes is 1.7 metres. This is to ensure that vehicles will also fit safely on existing snowmobile routes.

Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner is satisfied with the easing of regulation.

- Snowmobiling is important to, among other things, tourism in Lapland, but previous regulation has restricted the use of snowmobiles. The amendment entering into effect will make things easier for businesses," says Berner.

The Finnish Government will submit its report to the Transport and Communications Committee and the Environment Committee concerning the opening of snowmobiling routes to heavy snowmobiles by no later than the end of May 2022.

What next?

The amendments will enter into force on 31 December 2018.

Aino Still, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 34 2041

Anne Berner