Perhaps, if riders don’t start adhering to restrictions set by the town.
When winter sweeps in with a vengeance, as it did earlier this month, sledding enthusiasts here come out in force — it’s a tradition. But for the past few years, snowmobile riders have been pushing the limits in this once primarily rural suburb.
"I am trying to be optimistic but they are pushing my buttons," said Supervisor Ron Nesbitt.
Town leaders passed a new law last year that prohibits driving through lawns and restricts late-night riding, but it doesn’t seem to be deterring a few rogue riders.
Nesbitt said he is fed up with the constant complaints he is receiving about snowmobile drivers, going through driveways and riding on posted property.
“A ban on snowmobiles might not be far away,” he said.
A new snowmobile ordinance was issued last December. It says snowmobilers can't ride on public roads between and 8 a.m. Certain areas such as town parks, playgrounds and sidewalks are also prohibited from snowmobile use. Additionally, anyone under 18 must have a valid safety certificate to ensure they have been properly trained — as well as a parent or guardian present — to ride.
The Webster Police Department has a snow patrol of 11 trained officers who take turns riding one sled.
Riders who violate the law face a fine of up to $250, according to Webster police. Penalties for violations such as property damage and speeding will also be imposed.
Webster is a popular spot for snowmobile enthusiasts. The Webster Ridge Runners Snowmobile club has been around since 1975 and has more than 400 members.
Randy Phillips, spokesman for the Ridge Runners, has said in the past that he doesn't believe violators of the new snowmobile ordinance are members of the Ridge Runners, and that it’s just a few snowmobile drivers that are violating the law.
Officer Mark Sotir, who is a member of the snowmobile patrol, says officers will be going out and aggressively enforcing the law this year. "We will be setting up checkpoints and patrol, both on snowmobile and by car, as well as going into schools and educating students about the new law," said Sotir.
Only a few tickets have been written so far, according to Sotir. The biggest issues, police say, are snowmobile operators driving too fast and younger snowmobilers driving unsupervised, officials say.
Tori Uthe can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 218, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.