“Law enforcement officer" has the meaning specified under s. 165.85 (2) (c)
and includes a person appointed as a conservation warden by the department under s. 23.10 (1)
“Lodging establishment" means any of the following:
“Operate" means the exercise of physical control over the speed or direction of a snowmobile or the physical manipulation or activation of any of the controls of a snowmobile necessary to put it in motion. “Operate" includes the operation of a snowmobile.
“Operator" means a person who operates a snowmobile, who is responsible for the operation of a snowmobile or who is supervising the operation of a snowmobile.
“Owner" means a person who has lawful possession of a snowmobile by virtue of legal title or equitable interest therein which entitles the person to possession.
“Proof," when used in reference to evidence of a registration document, safety certificate, trail use sticker, or temporary trail use receipt, means the original registration document, safety certificate, trail use sticker, or temporary trail use receipt issued by the department or an agent appointed under s. 350.12 (3h) (a) 3.
or (3j) (e) 1.
or any alternative form of proof designated by rule under s. 23.47 (1)
“Purpose of access from lodging" means for the purpose of traveling for the shortest distance that is necessary for a person operating the snowmobile to go between a lodging establishment and the snowmobile route or snowmobile trail that is closest to the lodging establishment.
“Purpose of authorized analysis" means for the purpose of determining or obtaining evidence of the presence, quantity or concentration of any intoxicant in a person's blood, breath or urine.
“Purpose of residential access" means for the purpose of traveling for the shortest distance that is necessary for a person operating the snowmobile to go between a residence and the snowmobile route or snowmobile trail that is closest to that residence.
“Registration document" means a snowmobile registration certificate, a temporary operating receipt, or a registration decal.
“Restricted controlled substance" means any of the following:
A controlled substance included in schedule I under ch. 961
other than a tetrahydrocannabinol.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, excluding its precursors or metabolites, at a concentration of one or more nanograms per milliliter of a person's blood.
“Sanctioned race or derby" means a competitive snowmobile event sponsored by a county, town, city or village, by a promoter, by a chamber of commerce or by a snowmobile club or other similar organization.
“Snowmobile dealer" means any person engaged in the sale of snowmobiles for a profit at wholesale or retail.
“Snowmobile distributor" means a person who sells or distributes snowmobiles to snowmobile dealers or who maintains distributor representatives.
“Snowmobile manufacturer" means any person engaged in the manufacture of snowmobiles for sale to the public.
“Snowmobile renter" means any person engaged in the rental or leasing of snowmobiles to the public.
“Snowmobile route" means a highway or sidewalk designated for use by snowmobile operators by the governmental agency having jurisdiction as authorized under this chapter.
“Snowmobile trail" means a marked corridor on public property, in a highway right-of-way, or on private lands subject to public easement or lease, designated for use by snowmobile operators by the governmental agency having jurisdiction, but excluding highways except those highways on which the roadway is not normally maintained for other vehicular traffic by the removal of snow.
“Temporary operating receipt" means a receipt issued by the department or an agent under s. 350.12 (3h) (ag) 1. a.
that shows that an application and the required fee for a registration certificate has been submitted to the department.
“Test facility" means a test facility or agency prepared to administer tests under s. 343.305 (2)
History: 1971 c. 219
; 1973 c. 298
; 1981 c. 79
; 1981 c. 295
; 1983 a. 27
s. 2202 (38)
; 1983 a. 189
; 1985 a. 146
; 1985 a. 331
; 1987 a. 399
; 1989 a. 51
; 1991 a. 39
; 1995 a. 61
; 1997 a. 34
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
; 2003 a. 97
; 2013 a. 83
; 2015 a. 55
; 2019 a. 68
; 2021 a. 103
See also s. NR 6.03
, Wis. adm. code.
Operation of snowmobiles on or in the vicinity of highways. 350.02(1)(1)
No person may operate a snowmobile upon any part of any freeway which is a part of the federal system of interstate and defense highways. No person may operate a snowmobile upon any part of any other freeway unless the department of transportation authorizes snowmobile use on that freeway.
No person may operate a snowmobile on any highway except in the following manner or as otherwise authorized by law:
Directly across any roadway having fewer than 5 lanes, but only after stopping and yielding the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway. Crossings under this subdivision may be made only at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing. For purposes of this subdivision, “obstruction" includes but is not limited to impairment of view and dangerous roadway condition.
Directly across a roadway having 5 lanes, in the manner specified in subd. 1.
, but only if the department of transportation authorizes such a crossing.
On any roadway which is not normally maintained for other vehicular traffic by the removal of snow.
On the roadway of highways to cross a bridge, culvert or railroad right-of-way unless posted by the maintaining authority, but shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicular traffic.
On the roadway of county or town highways and city or village streets for special snowmobile events authorized under s. 350.04
On highways which have been designated as routes and which are required to be marked.
On a portion of the roadway or shoulder of a highway for a purpose of residential access or for the purpose of access from lodging if the town, city or village, within which that portion of the highway lies, enacts an ordinance under s. 350.18 (3)
for that portion of the highway.
Snowmobiles may be operated adjacent to a roadway with due regard to safety in the following manner:
Along U.S. numbered highways, state and county highways at a distance of 10 or more feet from the roadway. Travel upon the median of a divided highway is prohibited except to cross.
During daylight hours travel may be in either direction regardless of the flow of vehicular traffic.
At night travel shall conform to the direction of vehicular traffic in the nearest lane unless the snowmobile is operated on a designated and marked snowmobile trail.
Whenever it is impracticable to gain immediate access to an area adjacent to a highway, other than a freeway, where a snowmobile is to be operated, the snowmobile may be operated adjacent and parallel to the roadway for the purpose of gaining access to and from the area of operation. Loading or unloading of the snowmobile shall be accomplished with due regard to safety at the nearest practical point to the area of operation.
No person may operate a snowmobile on or adjacent to a roadway in excess of the applicable roadway speed limit established under s. 346.57
unless the person is operating the snowmobile as part of a special event authorized under s. 350.04
Snowmobiles may be operated for emergency purposes on any highway during a period of emergency when so declared by the governmental agency having jurisdiction.
A law enforcement officer or a commission warden, as defined in s. 939.22 (5)
, may operate a snowmobile on a highway in performance of his or her official duties if the snowmobile is equipped with a light that is red or blue or a combination thereof and that is flashing, oscillating, or rotating.
Under no circumstances, except as provided in this section, is a snowmobile to be operated on the main-traveled portion of a highway or on the plowed portion.
The operator of a snowmobile shall slow the vehicle to a speed not to exceed 10 miles per hour and yield the right-of-way when traveling within 100 feet of a person who is not in or on a snowmobile except as provided in ch. 346
does not apply to any of the following:
The operator of a snowmobile on a privately owned raceway facility.
The operator of a snowmobile in a sanctioned race or derby on public land, a highway or a snowmobile trail if the sponsor of the sanctioned race or derby marks the race or derby route or track to warn spectators from entering the route or track. In this paragraph, “public land" does not include the frozen surface of public waters.
Meeting of snowmobiles.
Operators of snowmobiles proceeding in opposite directions shall proceed with caution and pass each other to the right.
History: 2003 a. 166
Snowmobile races, derbies and routes. 350.04(1)(1)
Any county, town, city or village may block off the highways under its jurisdiction for the purpose of allowing special snowmobile events. No state trunk highway or connecting highway or part thereof, shall be blocked off by any county, town, city or village for any snowmobile race or derby. Every county, town, city or village shall notify the local police department and the county sheriff's office at least one week in advance of the time and place of any snowmobile race or derby which may result in any street or part thereof, of the county, town, city or village being blocked off. Upon such notice, the local police department shall take such measures as it deems appropriate to protect persons and property and to regulate traffic in the designated area and its vicinity on the day of such race or derby.
On state trunk bridges a sidewalk or, if no sidewalk exists, one lane of the bridge may be designated by the town, city or village as a snowmobile route. Towns, cities or villages may adopt ordinances designating highways as snowmobile routes for snowmobile operation, subject to the following limitations:
Snowmobiles shall be operated on the extreme right side of the roadway.
Left turns shall be made as safely as possible from any position depending on snow cover and other prevailing conditions.
Snowmobile operators shall yield right-of-way to other vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
Highways designated for snowmobile operation shall be marked in accordance with s. 350.13
Snowmobile operation is not permitted on state trunk highways or connecting highways except as provided under s. 350.02
No county, town, city or village shall be liable for any injury suffered in connection with a race or derby under this section, unless the injury is caused by the negligence of the county, town, city or village.
The county, town, city or village shall post the provisions of par. (a)
in a conspicuous place, readily accessible to all contestants and spectators, and shall assist in locating and identifying persons responsible for injuries that may occur.
See also s. NR 6.09
, Wis. adm. code.
Public utility exemption.
So that public utilities may effectively carry out their obligations to the public, the restrictions imposed by this chapter relating to use on, near or adjacent to highways shall not apply to snowmobiles operated to fulfill the corporate function of the public utility in those cases where safety does not require strict adherence to the regulations related to snowmobiles in general. However, snowmobiles operated by public utilities must be operated in a safe manner at all times.
History: 1971 c. 277
Local ordinance to be filed.
Whenever a town, city or village adopts an ordinance designating a highway as a snowmobile route, and whenever a county, town, city or village adopts an ordinance regulating snowmobiles, its clerk shall immediately send a copy of the ordinance to the department and to the office of the law enforcement agency of the municipality and county having jurisdiction over such street or highway.
History: 1971 c. 277
Operation by youthful operators restricted. 350.05(1)(1)
Persons under 12.
No person under the age of 12 years may operate a snowmobile unless the person is accompanied either by a parent or guardian or by a person over 18 years of age.
Persons aged 12 and older; snowmobile safety certificates and program. 350.05(2)(a)
No person who is at least 12 years of age and who is born on or after January 1, 1985, may operate a snowmobile unless he or she holds a valid snowmobile safety certificate.