45 snowmobile deaths in Northern Norway since 2000

Since 2000, at least 45 people have lost their lives in accidents on snowmobiles in Troms, Finnmark and Svalbard, two of them this year.

It shows an overview Nordlys has made after the accident in the Reingjerdfjellet in Øverbygd Monday, where a male scooter driver in the 20s was taken by avalanches on the border between Balsfjord and Målselv municipality. He was confirmed dead on Tuesday. January 16 this year, a 16-year-old boy died in a snowmobile accident at Litlslettfjellet in Balsfjord municipality.

According to Nordlys, the causes of the accident are collisions, descents and avalanches.

There is no official register of snowmobile-related deaths in Norway.

Want control

A recent study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Norsk Friluftsliv shows that 73 per cent that they asked were entirely or quite in agreement that there should be better control of snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles in nature. Of the women asked, a total of 80 agreed on the claim, and among the over 60 years there were 84 per cent who agreed.

The survey was sent out in a press release last week, which states that illegal driving is a problem. In 2017, a survey from the Transport Economics Department showed that one in four snowmobile drivers drove illegally.

– Take responsibility

The State Nature Inspectorate, which is responsible for controlling illegal motor traffic, believes that more funds should be allocated to this. Supervision reported 122 cases of illegal driving in 2018.

– We have clear expectations from the ministry and the government to conduct control and in recent years have increased the focus on this. Nevertheless, we need more resources to prioritize it further, says section manager Kari Kveseth in the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate.

Siri Meland, Head of Corporate Relations in Norsk Friluftsliv, believes that illegal driving must be hit harder on whether society should prevent more tragedies in the future.

– It is important both that the municipalities conduct attitude-building work, and that the snowmobile clubs take responsibility for conducting good training towards their members, says Meland.

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