Monday, 6 January 2014

There's Enough Snow on Chicago Highway to Use a…Snowmobile

Here's something you don't (and probably shouldn't…) see often; a snowmobile passing cars on a highway, and in particular, Interstate 94 (I-94), during the winter storm that has plagued the eastern half of the U.S. with plenty of snow and dangerously cold temperatures.

The YouTube author says the footage was purportedly shot somewhere near Chicago, but we have seen the same video posted elsewhere saying it was recorded in Detroit.

You may be surprised to know that in some States and under certain circumstances, you can operate a snowmobile on a highway and we quote Michigan's Department of Natural Resources:

A Snowmobile May Operate on a Public Highway
Under the Following Conditions:

  • A snowmobile may be operated on the right-of-way of a public highway (except a limited-access highway) if it is operated at the extreme right of the open portion of the right-of-way and with the flow of traffic on the highway. Snowmobiles operated on a road right-of-way must travel in single file and shall not be operated abreast except when overtaking or passing another snowmobile.
  • A snowmobile may be operated on the roadway or shoulder when necessary to cross a bridge or culvert if the snowmobile is brought to a complete stop before entering onto the roadway or shoulder and the operator yields the right-of-way to any approaching motor vehicle on the highway.
  • A snowmobile may be operated across a public highway, other than a limited access highway, at right angles to the highway for the purpose of getting from one area to another when the operation can be done safely and another vehicle is not crossing the highway at the same time in the immediate area. An operator must bring his/her snowmobile to a complete stop before proceeding across the public highway and must yield the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic.
  • Snowmobiles may be operated on a highway in a county road system, which is not normally snowplowed for vehicular traffic; and on the right-of-way or shoulder when no right-of-way exists on a snowplowed highway in a county road system, outside the corporate limits of a city or village, which is designated and marked for snowmobile use by the county road commission having jurisdiction.

A Person Shall Not Operate a Snowmobile:

  • While under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • At a rate of speed greater than is reasonable for existing conditions.
  • In a forest nursery, planting area or public lands posted or reasonably identifiable as an area or forest reproduction when growing stock may be damaged or any designated wild, wilderness or natural area in the state.
  • On the frozen surface of public waters within 100 feet of a person, including a skater, not in or upon a snowmobile or within 100 feet of a fishing shanty or shelter except at the minimum speed required to maintain forward movement of the snowmobile, or on an area that has been cleared for ice skating, unless the area is necessary for gaining access to the public water.
  • Within 100 feet of a dwelling between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. at a speed greater than the minimum required to maintain forward movement of the snowmobile.
  • Upon the land of another without consent of the owner or their agent, as required by the recreational trespass act.
  • In an area open to public hunting during the November 15-30 firearm deer season from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • While transporting a bow unless it is unstrung or encased, or a firearm unless it is unloaded and securely encased.
  • ? On or across a cemetery or burial ground, airport, railroad or a railroad right-of-way, or within 100 feet of a sledding, skiing or skating area.
  • To chase, pursue, worry or kill any wild bird or animal.
  • In a public or private parking lot in a careless or negligent manner.


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