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Reckless & Careless Operation

Most law enforcement agencies define the act of reckless operation as:

  • Any person who shall operate any vessel or watercraft so as to endanger the life or limb, or damage the property of any person shall be guilty of reckless boat operation.

  • Violation of the law carries a stiff penalty if convicted.

  • Careless operation of a boat occurs when a person operates a boat in a manner that endangers.

Examples of reckless or careless operation include, but are not limited to:

  • Maneuvering your boat or PWC at high speed close to another vessel, persons in the water, or persons on shore, so as to spray them.

  • Operating your vessel at a rate of speed greater than will permit you from bringing the watercraft to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

  • Towing skiers, wake boarders, tubers, or other persons so they cross the towline of another vessel or allow them to spray down persons on shore in the water or another vessel.

  • Allowing any passenger to ride in a dangerous manner. Such as: hanging over the bow, sides, or transom, while the vessel is underway.

Most states consider operating under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics to be a serious violation and have separate laws to govern it.

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