WEST ARICHAT: This weekend, hundreds of ATV riders and enthusiasts will attend the annual Winter Festival ATV Poker Run on Isle Madame.

RCMP in Nova Scotia are asking attendees to keep road and trail safety top of mind when taking in the festivities. The RCMP would like to remind ATV enthusiasts of a few simple tips to make every ride an enjoyable one.

Whether riding or driving, drivers must be aware of the traffic and ensure other motorists can see them and are aware of what they are doing.

Obey the rules of the road and trail and respect posted signs, as well as the rights of other drivers and riders.

Stay on marked trails and do not drive across ice given how warm winter has been to date.

Ride sober. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs do not mix. Do not drive impaired, and do not allow others to do so.

Ride at a reasonable rate of speed. Know a riding partner’s driving limitations and drivers should operate only at a speed that allows them to remain in total control of the vehicle.

Avoid rider distractions. Drivers should know where they are going before they arrive, or pull off the road to a safe spot to consult a map or GPS.

Always wear protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves and eye protection. Wear layers of clothing to keep warm and dry.

Exercise patience when driving in and around congested areas.

Drivers need to give themselves lots of extra time to get to where they are going.

When parking ATV’s and vehicles, please keep valuables out of sight.

Ensure that ATVs are registered and insured.

The RCMP wishes everyone a fun weekend and will be out in full force throughout the rally in an effort to keep riders and spectators safe.