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Staying safe on the sledding hill

Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 8:48 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “It’s a lot of fun but there are things to watch out for,” said Nevada Highway Patrol Sergeant John Dodge.

As the snow continues to pile up near Mt. Rose people are enjoying the outdoors any way they can. But not everyone is acting responsibly.

“We are called here on a regular basis,” Sgt. Dodge said.

Sgt. Dodge stops by the Sheep’s Flat sledding hill between Mt. Rose and Incline Village more often than he’ would like to. Last week a child got hit by a car after they shot onto Mount Rose Highway in their sled. With hundreds of people all moving simultaneously, coupled with constant traffic just feet away, sledding in this area can be dangerous.

“If a sled goes out into the roadway, that’s easy to handle,” said Sgt. Dodge. “But when a little guy, or even an adult, slides into the roadway it becomes a big hazard, not just for them, but for the motoring public as well.”

There are ways to stay safe: wear a helmet, ride with young children so they are not alone, dig into the snow to slow down, have someone at the bottom of the hill - known as a catcher - ready to stop the sledder if they get going too quickly, and do not be afraid to bail.

For drivers in the area, be aware of surroundings. The speed limit around Sheep’s Flat is 25 miles per hour - not 45 or more like drivers will see along other stretches of Mount Rose Highway.

“A lot of times when tubes or sleds are going out into the roadway they’re traveling at a good rate of speed,” Sgt. Dodge said. “You might not get a lot of time to react to them entering the roadway. If you slow down and keep it slow your reaction time increases.”

For additional resources on keeping kids safe, click here, here, and here.

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