Michigan Ski Safety Rules for Patrollers

Operating Snowmobiles on Ski Slopes

On September 25, 2008, Michigan adopted a new rule regarding the use of snowmobiles on ski slopes, runs, and trails.  The new Administrative Rule is: 2008 Amendment - R408.62 Regarding Motorized Vehicles .

The Ski Area must have a written policy that addresses:

   Training required for anyone to operate an authorized vehicle on open ski slopes, runs, or trails;

   Recommended routes for motorized vehicles to follow when used on open ski slopes, runs, or trails;

   Circumstances under which a motorized vehicle may be used on open ski slopes, runs, or trails; and

   Circumstances under which the required alarm must be utilized.

To operate a snowmobile, an operator must:

   Be a least 18 years old;

   Posse a valid driver’s license;

   Complete mandatory training provided by the ski area that includes safe use of motorized vehicles on a ski slopes, runs, or trails when skiers are present, as established in the ski areas’ written policies;

   Whenever possible, give skiers the right-of-way;

   Operate a vehicle at a rate of speed not greater than is reasonable for the conditions;

   Not operate a snowmobile … in a careless or negligent manner likely to endanger any person or property;

   Not operate a snowmobile … in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; and

   Not operate a privately owned motorized vehicles.

Skier Safety Rules

Patrollers must also know the following regulations and risk management matters.  These are requirements of the Michigan Ski Area Safety Act and the General Rules of the Michigan Ski Safety Board.

   Area patrols and patrollers must have written authorization from the ski area to transport toboggans up the chair lifts and rope tows.  It may also be advisable for the ski area to have a written plan and training program for transporting toboggans uphill.  Michigan General Rule §R 408.94 (Rule 34).

   If notified, a patroller must record the name and address of individuals involved in an accident causing an injury to another person, or causing an injury to himself or herself.  This information should be attached to the areas incident report.  MCL §408.343.

   Patrollers must know the duties required of skiers by the Michigan SASA, which also applies to patrollers.  MCL §408.341 and MCL §408.342.

   Ski area should have written chairlift evacuation plan in their patrol rooms.

For More Information

Michigan Ski Area Safety Act

Michigan Ski Area Safety Act - Skier Notice

Michigan Ski Area Safety Board - General Rules

Michigan Ski Area Safety Board Rules – R408.62

2008 Amendment - R408.62 Regarding Motorized Vehicles