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EDITORIAL: Stay off the ponds and out of trouble

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There’s never guaranteed safety in life — nothing that cannot be turned into tragedy at a moment’s notice.

Whether that’s the risk of breaking a finger at tiddlywinks or getting a needle in the eye while knitting a pair of vamps, something can go wrong, and someone can get hurt.

We can, however, minimize the risk by being cautious and take steps to ensure we avoid needless tragedy.

Before anyone puts hazard lights on their knitting needles, however, it’s best to keep things in perspective. We need to look at the activity and match the level of care we take in preparations for — and safety during — the time we’re engaged.

One past-time that never seems to get enough care this time of year is the effort we put into snowmobile safety.

Every year we hear of snowmobiles going too fast, snowmobiles with impaired riders and snowmobiles going in places they shouldn’t. All three are choices those owning the snowmobiles make. Unfortunately, if there’s one constant in recorded history is that humans make bad choices.

And then we make them over and over again.

The weather these past few days has drawn ever deeper concerns as the mild temperatures and precipitation have led to rivers opening up even more and streams cutting through packed snow that was frozen a couple days ago.

Some trails that were fine last week are now hazards. Conditions just got a lot worse which means people’s decision-making needs to get a lot better.

We know there will always be tragedy when you combine fast machines with unpredictable conditions. Adding alcohol to that mix is often deadly.

However, it doesn’t need to be at the frequency in which we're seeing things. Please give your choices a sober second thought. Please take any change in the weather as a prompt that you need to think those decisions over again, and again.

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