Amendment to the regulation of snowmobiles proposed
The Government proposes that the use of larger snowmobiles should be allowed on suitable designated snow mobile routes.
On 11 October 2018, the Government proposed the amendment of the Vehicles Act, the Driving Licence Act, the Off-Road Traffic Act and the Road Traffic Act.
Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications, is pleased with the progress of the proposal.
"This legislative proposal is a good example of how we can make doing business easier by removing regulatory burdens. In Lapland, for example, snowmobiling is important for tourism and the current regulations restrict this business," says Berner.
The bill proposes that the definition of a snowmobile is broadened to include heavy snowmobiles. That would cover motor sleds with a maximum weight of 0.8 tonnes, 300 kilograms heavier than the current snowmobiles, which can seat no more than four people in addition to the driver. Similar to snowmobiles, driving a motor sled would require the right to drive category T vehicles.
Snowmobile safaris and rides are important tourism services, but the current definition of snowmobiles restricts the selection of suitable equipment. This amendment would also permit the use of larger snowmobiles on appropriate snowmobile routes that have been particularly indicated for this purpose.
The assessment of the appropriateness of the route would be the responsibility of the route operator. The use of heavy snowmobiles would be allowed with a supplementary sign attached to the traffic sign indicating a snowmobile route.
These amendments are due to enter into force on 1 January 2019.What next?
The Government's proposal presented to Parliament will be considered in a preliminary debate in a plenary session, the date for which will be announced on Parliament's website (section "Tulevia täysistuntoja" on the Finnish website).
After the preliminary debate, the proposal will be referred to a committee. The committee drafts a report, which is then discussed in a plenary session.
For more information, please contact:
Erik Asplund, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 34 2277
Aino Still, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 34 2041