Don Wieber, Avon, was certified as a snowmobile safety instructor in 1977.
Since that time he has been vigorously promoting snowmobile safety training in classrooms, radio stations and newspapers across central Minnesota.
In conjunction with the Minnesota United Snowmobile Association, the DNR recently named Wieber the 2000 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year.
"Teaching young snowmobilers to obey laws, respect private property, avoid mixing alcohol with snowmobiling, and drive under control within speed limits all should make for safer snowmobiling," Wieber said. "The more people we can reach with that message, the safer the sport will be."
In Minnesota, anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979, must have a snowmobile safety certificate in order to lawfully operate a snowmobile. Children under 12 may drive snowmobiles on private property or if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Youths ages 12 to 13 may drive snowmobiles on public lands or waters if accompanied by a parent or guardian if they have taken a safety training course. Anyone under 18 must wear a helmet.
"Don has been a fine example of an outstanding snowmobiler, promoting safety and the sport of snowmobiling," said Capt. Jeff Thielen, DNR Enforcement Education Program coordinator. "Safe operation is crucial to a great snowmobile experience."
Wieber has been active in the Snow Joe Snowmobile Club of St. Joseph for more than 20 years, including a term as club president.
He has also helped organize radar runs to curb excessive speeding, made emergency runs to rescue people during blizzards, and served as a regional director for MnUSA.
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