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Thread: Musher vs. Snowmachine

  1. #1
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Musher vs. Snowmachine

    Another warning that we need to be extra careful out there. A musher was struck by a snowmachine just outside of Kotz this week - ADN story

    Amazingly enough, ALCOHOL was involved , and NOT on the part of the musher.

    The musher was a successful pediatrician from Anchorage doing bush work. The snowmachiner was a 20 something who was intoxicated.....what a waste!

    Please be careful on the trails and remember we aren't the only ones using them. Also, a DUI can be obtained while on ANY motorized vehicle.
    AKmud
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  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    And PLEASE wear reflective clothing if you are a musher or other recreationalist on the trails, even snombilers. So often I come across skiers in black spandex and black fleece at night with no reflectiveness at all. I have almost rear ended snowmachines that have non-functioning lights and the rider dress without any reflective clothing.

  3. #3
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It turns out that one of the victims signaled the snowmobile with a headlamp, but it obviously didn't work. I hope they throw the book at the driver of the snowmobile, but it won't happen. From what I have seen, vehicular manslaughter only brings 5 or so years in prison and that's it.

  4. #4

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    Dog teams and the sleds are hard to see. I have had some near miss's with some as they cross the road. The team is on the road, before the musher has a view of the oncoming traffic. It is a bad deal and it could be improved upon, if: Mushers would put reflective/highly visible tracings on the dogs and use a stobe light on a staff above the sled. They don't recognize the danger they put themselves in, until there is an incident like this one. Who was at fault??? I think both parties share the blame for the unfortunate/disasterous incident. Even the Amish have to have lights and markings on their slow moving vehicles, mushers could help themselves if they wanted to, in this fashion. But it will eventually have to be brought on them, by laws and regulations. Booze was evidently a major factor in the cause, but there is always more than one factor involved and both parties should do what they can to mitigate the possibilities. The gal that owned the team, failed to recognize possible hazards and this to led to it happening. Simply flashing a headlamp at an oncoming snowmachine was not enough, as it is clearly pointed out by this actually happening. She could have done more to protect her team. The snowmachiner could have done more to ensure he was fit to drive. All are losers now.

  5. #5
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Most of the teams in our area are now using LED lights on their lead dogs, LED lights on the musher's hat facing front and rear, and reflective tape on the dog's harnesses. However, this is just for training. There are many competitive mushers that feel lights and reflective tape are not good in competition as other mushers can see them easier.

    There is a reason why D.O.T. requires reflective tape completely down the sides of my semi-trailers.

    I don't fault the mushers in this. I will say, however, that I have had a musher blink their light at me in the past and it looked exactly like a snowmobile headlight a mile away going down a bumpy trail, not a musher 100 yards in front of me.

  6. #6

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Most of the teams in our area are now using LED lights on their lead dogs, LED lights on the musher's hat facing front and rear, and reflective tape on the dog's harnesses. However, this is just for training. There are many competitive mushers that feel lights and reflective tape are not good in competition as other mushers can see them easier.

    There is a reason why D.O.T. requires reflective tape completely down the sides of my semi-trailers.

    I don't fault the mushers in this. I will say, however, that I have had a musher blink their light at me in the past and it looked exactly like a snowmobile headlight a mile away going down a bumpy trail, not a musher 100 yards in front of me.
    I have not seen the reflective tape and led lights being used in my neck of the woods. Wished I would. I would advocate the use of strobes as being even better though.

    I too have thought a mushers headlamps was a distant snowmachine, lots of times. With shared trails, comes shared responsibilities. No one user group can keep the trail safe. But it seems as though some don't want to protect themselves.

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