Snowmobile Season Arrives in Stateline

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While thousands enjoyed fresh snow this week, Rockford's Shelley Luedtke had a snowballing problem on her hands.

"It's pretty much to the point where I had to call the police a couple of times. It's just annoying. My young baby has woke up scared to death because of all the noise," Luedtke said.

Luedtke says the snowmobilers not only left their mark on her lawn, but throughout her neighborhood.

"Right when it starts snowing, boom, here comes out the snowmobiles, and what’s frustrating is that they are all over the place, all over the streets, and I’m trying to back out of my driveway, I can't get out of my driveway," Luedtke said.

According to Illinois state law, that is a no-no. Rockford Park Police Detective Daniel Watton says snowmobiles are not allowed to operate in residential areas unless it connects to a designated public trail like those at Lockwood Park. The law also states permission is needed to ride on someone else's property, or the rider could get a ticket.

"You have to have their written and verbal consent unless a snowmobile has been designated through the property, which is usually farmlands and stuff like that," Watton said.

Luedtke also complained of neighbors whizzing by at one and two in the morning, which Watton says to some extent is also illegal in Illinois.

"They can operate at all hours during the day. Between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. they are not allowed to operate past residents going any faster than idle speed," Watton said.

And with thick snow still covering the stateline, Luedtke just wants snowmobilers where they belong: at designated parks, not alongside her home.

"I'm not trying to ruin anybody's fun. I'm just saying there's an appropriate place for snowmobiles, and they're safe. You don't have to worry about kids as long as you stay on your trail," Luedtke said.

Luedtke is one resident hoping snowmobilers stay within their legal boundaries and off her property.

For those 12 and older, the Rockford Park District Police are offering free snowmobile safety classes. There are open slots for classes offered next Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. You must register in advance at (815) 987-8874.