NASBLA Roundtable

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Pull Over Law

  • 1.  Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-10-2022 07:26 AM
    Does any State have a law or regulation that applies similar requirements on boaters as we have on the highways when a boat has its emergency or public assistance lights on and dealing with a vessel either as a stop or possibly in tow?

    There is an effort here in Virginia to establish a regulation required g vessels to slow and reduce wake when near a scene with a public assistance vessels either police, fire, or towboat. 

    The other components of interest is the distance involved. 100 feet /yards or should it be more? 

    Terry Hill
    TowBoatUS Potomac
    C-PORT
    703-898-3011



  • 2.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-11-2022 08:31 AM
    This is what Illinois has in statute for the "Move Over Law"

      (625 ILCS 45/5-22)

        Sec. 5-22. Operation of watercraft upon the approach of an authorized emergency watercraft.

        (a) As used in this Section, "authorized emergency watercraft" includes any watercraft operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Police, the Illinois Department of State Police, a county sheriff, a local law enforcement agency, a fire department, a provider of emergency medical services, or the United States Coast Guard, equipped with alternately flashing red, blue, red and white, red and blue, or red in combination with white or blue lights, while engaged in official duties. Any authorized emergency watercraft must be clearly emblazoned with markings identifying it as a watercraft operated by the qualifying agency.

        (b) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency watercraft making use of rotating or flashing visual signals and lawfully making use of a visual signal, the operator of every other watercraft shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately reduce the speed of the watercraft, so as not to create a wake, and shall yield way to the emergency watercraft, moving to the right to permit the safe passage of the emergency watercraft, and shall stop and remain in that position until the authorized emergency watercraft has passed, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

        (c) Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency watercraft, when the authorized emergency watercraft is giving a signal by displaying rotating or alternately flashing red, blue, red and white, red and blue, or red in combination with white or blue lights, a person operating an approaching watercraft shall proceed with due caution at no-wake speed and yield the right-of-way by moving safely away from that authorized emergency watercraft, proceeding with due caution at a no-wake speed with due regard to safety and water conditions, maintaining no-wake speed until sufficiently away from the emergency watercraft so as not to create a wake that would otherwise rock or otherwise disturb the authorized emergency watercraft.

        (d) This Section shall not operate to relieve the operator of an authorized emergency watercraft from the duty to operate that watercraft with due regard for the safety of all persons using the waterway.

        (e) A person who violates this Section commits a business offense punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $10,000. It is a factor in aggravation if the person committed the offense while in violation of Section 5-16 of this Act.

        (f) If a violation of this Section results in damage to the property of another person, in addition to any other penalty imposed, the person's watercraft operating privileges shall be suspended for a fixed period of not less than 90 days and not more than one year.

        (g) If a violation of this Section results in injury to another person, in addition to any other penalty imposed, the person's watercraft operating privileges shall be suspended for a fixed period of not less than 180 days and not more than 2 years.

        (h) If a violation of subsection (c) of this Section results in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to, or the death of, another person, in addition to any other penalty imposed, the person's watercraft operating privileges shall be suspended for 2 years.

        (i) The Department of Natural Resources shall, upon receiving a record of a judgment entered against a person under this Section:

            (1) suspend the person's watercraft operating

        privileges for the mandatory period; or

            (2) extend the period of an existing suspension by

        the appropriate mandatory period.



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    Curt Lewis
    Lieutenant
    Illinois Conservation Police
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  • 3.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-11-2022 09:46 AM
    Connecticut General Statutes covers this.  We have also proposed new legislation in the '22 session that would include tow vessels when offering assistance to a vessel in distress.  Hope this helps!

    See CGS Sections 15-154(d) and (e) as follows:

    (d) Upon the immediate approach of a law enforcement vessel using an audible signal device and flashing blue lights or a fire rescue vessel using an audible signal device and flashing red or yellow lights, any person operating a vessel shall immediately slow to a speed sufficient to maintain steerage only, shall alter course, within its ability, so as not to inhibit or interfere with the operation of the law enforcement vessel or fire rescue vessel, and shall proceed, unless otherwise directed by an officer in the law enforcement vessel or fire rescue vessel, at a reduced speed until beyond the area of operation of the law enforcement vessel or fire rescue vessel. Any person operating a vessel who wilfully or negligently obstructs or retards any law enforcement or fire rescue vessel answering an emergency call or in pursuit of fleeing law violators shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars.

    (e) Any person operating a vessel passing within two hundred feet of a stationary law enforcement vessel using an audible signal device and flashing blue lights or a stationary fire rescue vessel using flashing
    red or yellow lights shall reduce speed to a speed of slow-no-wake until there is a distance of more than
    two hundred feet between such person's vessel and the law enforcement vessel or fire rescue vessel. For
    purposes of this subsection, "slow-no-wake" means operation of a vessel at a speed that does not produce
    more than a minimum wake and is not greater than six miles per hour over ground, unless a higher minimum
    speed is necessary to maintain steerage when traveling with a strong current.

    ------------------------------
    Peter Francis
    CT Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection
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  • 4.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-11-2022 10:00 AM
    Florida recently enacted this law, but it does not apply to tow boats (during public meetings including tow vessels was not widely accepted because if the vessel was underway in the act of towing, it could create massive logjams of vessels trapped behind a towing vessel):

    327.463 Special hazards.-
    (1) For purposes of this section, a vessel:
    (a) Is operating at slow speed, minimum wake only if it is:
    1. Fully off plane and completely settled into the water; and
    2. Proceeding without wake or with minimum wake.

    A vessel that is required to operate at slow speed, minimum wake may not proceed at a speed greater than a speed that is reasonable and prudent to avoid the creation of an excessive wake or other hazardous condition under the existing circumstances.

    (b) Is not proceeding at slow speed, minimum wake if it is:
    1. Operating on plane;
    2. In the process of coming off plane and settling into the water or getting on plane; or
    3. Operating at a speed that creates a wake that unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers other vessels.
    (2) A person may not operate a vessel faster than slow speed, minimum wake within 300 feet of any emergency vessel, including, but not limited to, a law enforcement vessel, United States Coast Guard vessel, or firefighting vessel, when such emergency vessel's emergency lights are activated.
    (3)(a) A person may not operate a vessel faster than slow speed, minimum wake within 300 feet of any construction vessel or barge when the vessel or barge is displaying an orange flag from a pole extending:
    1. At least 10 feet above the tallest portion of the vessel or barge, indicating that the vessel or barge is actively engaged in construction operations; or
    2. At least 5 feet above any superstructure permanently installed upon the vessel or barge, indicating that the vessel or barge is actively engaged in construction operations.
    (b) A flag displayed on a construction vessel or barge pursuant to this subsection must:
    1. Be at least 2 feet by 3 feet in size.
    2. Have a wire or other stiffener or be otherwise constructed to ensure that the flag remains fully unfurled and extended in the absence of a wind or breeze.
    3. Be displayed so that the visibility of the flag is not obscured in any direction.
    (c) In periods of low visibility, including any time between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise, a person may not be cited for a violation of this subsection unless the orange flag is illuminated and visible from a distance of at least 2 nautical miles. Such illumination does not relieve the construction vessel or barge from complying with all navigation rules.
    (4)(a) A person operating a vessel in violation of this section commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73.
    (b) The owner of, or party who is responsible for, a construction vessel or barge who displays an orange flag on the vessel or barge when it is not actively engaged in construction operations commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73.
    (5) The speed and penalty provisions of this section do not apply to a law enforcement, firefighting, or rescue vessel that is owned or operated by a governmental entity.
    History.-s. 17, ch. 2021-184.


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    Gary Klein
    Captain
    FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Comm
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  • 5.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-12-2022 04:53 AM
    That makes sense, but common sense tells you it has nothing to do with going to tow or rescue or get to a sinking boat.
    As we have seen many times, help can't get there fast enough. Coming back is a different story, so am I missing something here.
    Are we getting to the point when someone will get a ticket for going to fast on a rescue. If a tow company is called it could be on a border line of a real emergency. That call could be hurry, I maybe sinking. They should have a light to get their faster and safer. Who comes up with all this bull, this is pretty much common sense. Why would anyone one be thinking about them coming back and not going to. To say if he is sinking then he should call the coast guard or someone else, is another statement that shouldn't be made.There are many who may be on the border line because they are not sure if there taking on too much water and they hope that there's enough time for the tow to arrive. The tow can be for many reasons, no one knows what goes thru someones mind when they are in the middle of no where with family. Just my opinion, but it is common sense. Maybe I am missing something.

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    Vincent Mascaro
    N.E. Fence Co.
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  • 6.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-13-2022 08:00 AM
    Vincent, you miss the point. The concern in this case is not expedite the response. It is the same as along the highway with vehicle pulled over to the shoulder and any assistance involving flashing lights signifying caution.

    The concern is for the wake a passing vessel makes when two boats are tied together one providing assistance or safety check or enforcing the law. Police, fire or tow. Many damages and injuries have happened when vessel pass without due regard.
    Terry Hill




  • 7.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-14-2022 12:29 PM
    I thought I sent a reply last week but not seeing it in the thread. In any case, I don't think I attached this particular Ohio code.

    Ohio Revised Code Section 1547.132 Vessel wake restrictions.
    (A) As used in this section, "public service" means activities that include, but are not limited to,
    escorting or patrolling special water events, traffic control, salvage, firefighting, medical
    assistance, assisting disabled vessels, and search and rescue.
    (B) No person shall operate a vessel at a speed that creates a wake within one hundred feet of a
    stationary law enforcement vessel displaying at least one flashing, oscillating, or rotating light
    conforming with 33 C.F.R. 88.11.
    (C) No person shall operate a vessel at a speed that creates a wake within one hundred feet of a
    vessel that is being used to provide public service and that displays at least one flashing,
    oscillating, or rotating light conforming with 33 C.F.R. 88.12.
    (D) No person shall permit any vessel to be operated on the waters in this state in violation of this
    section.
    Section 1547.132 - Ohio Revised Code | Ohio Laws



    ------------------------------
    Cindy Bellar
    Boating Law Administrator
    Ohio DNR Div. of Parks & Watercraft
    614-265-6504
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Pull Over Law

    CRBP Commissioner
    Posted 03-11-2022 10:16 AM
    Here is Oklahoma's version:
    Relevant Definitions:
    "Emergency vessel" means any vessel which is legally authorized to operate in the emergency mode.
    "Law enforcement vessel" means any vessel legally authorized to operate under the color of law;

    Operators of emergency vessels - Exercise of certain privileges – Yielding to emergency vessels - Penalties.
    1. The operator of an emergency vessel, when responding to an emergency call, when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, or when responding to but not upon returning from a response to an emergency situation, may exercise the privilege set forth in this section, subject to the conditions set forth in subsection B of this section.
    2. The operator of an emergency vessel may:
            1.  Park, moor or beach the vessel irrespective of the provisions of this title;
            2. Proceed past a restrictive buoy, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;
            3. Exceed the maximum speed or wake limits so long as that action does not endanger life or property; and
            4. Disregard rules governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

        C.  The exemptions granted in this section shall apply only when an emergency vessel is making use of audible and visual signals meeting the requirements of Section 4207 of this title.

        D.  The provisions of this section shall not relieve the operator of an emergency vessel from the duty to operate the vessel with due regard for the safety of all persons or protect the operator from the consequences of reckless disregard for the safety of others.

        E.  Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vessel making use of an audible or a visual signal or a combination thereof, the operator of every other vessel shall immediately stop his or her vessel whenever or wherever practical or otherwise yield the right-of-way until such authorized emergency vessel has passed, except when otherwise directed by a duly authorized peace officer of this state.

        F.  Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) and shall be subject to imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed six (6) months.



    ------------------------------
    Lt. Mark Brown
    Boating Law Administrator
    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Enforcement Section
    Oklahoma City, OK USA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-11-2022 11:15 AM
    Missouri's version of this is below.

     306.132.  Watercraft to stop on signal of water patrol or emergency watercraft, when - authorized speed near emergency watercraft - penalty. - 1.  Any person operating a watercraft on the waters of this state shall stop such watercraft upon a signal of any member of the water patrol division and obey any other reasonable signal or direction of such member of the water patrol division given in directing the movement of traffic on the waters of this state.

      2.  Any person operating a watercraft upon the waters of this state shall immediately stop or position such watercraft in such a way as to give the right-of-way on the water to any emergency watercraft, as established by the water patrol division, when such emergency watercraft gives an audible signal by siren or gives a visible signal by having at least one lighted lamp exhibiting a red or blue light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of such emergency watercraft.

      3.  Vessels shall not be operated at a speed in excess of slow no-wake speed within one hundred feet of any emergency vessel that has red or blue lighting displayed.

      4.  Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

    Robert



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    Robert Sanders
    Missouri State Highway Patrol
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  • 10.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-11-2022 05:16 PM
    Terry,
    See Title 13:82-1.7(b)6, and 7 below which is a promulgated rule. It is not specifically a "Move Over" law/regulation, however it requires vessels that are within 200ft of another vessel displaying sequential flashing lights, to proceed at slow speed/no wake.

    I have also copied Title 12:7-45 for your review.

    Hope this helps.
    Chris


    Title 13 - LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
    Chapter 82 - BOATING REGULATIONS
    Subchapter 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
    Section 13:82-1.7 - Speed

    Universal Citation: NJ Admin Code 13:82-1.7

    Current through Register Vol. 53, No. 24, December 21, 2021

    (a) No person shall operate a vessel in a manner where the speed and/or wake of the vessel may cause danger or injury to life or limb or damage to property.

    (b) All vessels shall reduce speed to slow speed/no wake when passing:

    1. Any marina, pier, dock, wharf or abutment at a distance of 200 feet or less, except on Lake Hopatcong, in accordance with 13:82-3.11;
    2. Work barges, platforms or floats while actually engaged in work related activity;
    3. Through bridge openings of 400 feet or less;
    4. Through lagoons, canals and confined areas of less than 200 feet in width;
    5. Vessels not under command;
    6. Emergency vessels displaying sequential flashing or rotating blue lights; or
    7. Vessels engaged in activities recognized by the Coast Guard displaying rotating or sequential flashing red and yellow lights.

    (c) "Slow speed/No wake" as used in this section means the speed at which a vessel moves through the water and is able to maintain minimum headway in relation to the vessel or structure being passed and producing the minimum wake possible.

    (d) State Police, on the recommendation of the Commission or on its own initiative, may designate a specific area not included in (b)1 through 6 above as a temporary slow speed/no wake area based on congestion, visibility, safety, or other good cause. All vessels moving through these areas shall reduce their speed to slow speed/no wake within a 200-foot radius of the sign or buoy, in addition to any restriction under (b) above.

    (e) No person shall place, anchor, or construct any buoy that states or implies that an area is a "Slow Speed/No Wake" area except as provided in (a) through (d) above. The State Police may remove or have removed any such unauthorized buoy.

    12:7-45. Speed of power vessels
    The speed of power vessels shall at all times be regulated so as to avoid danger or injury to all manner of craft whether floating, moored, anchored or underway, or to piers, wharfs, bulkheads, draw spans or other water-front construction, either directly or by the effect of the wash or wave raised by such power vessel through its speed or otherwise.

     



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    Chris Jones
    Assistant Station Commander
    New Jersey State Police
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  • 11.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-14-2022 01:03 PM
    Hello BLA's - This topic is timely for me as I'm working on a definition recreational "boating authorities" for new powerboat operators. My parameters are as follows:
    • Works for the U.S. and Canada
    • Non-specific to federal/state/local regulations; more like best practices
    • Generic in nature
    • Concise - easy to understand
    I would appreciate any thoughts or constructive criticism on this definition.

    Law Enforcement

    Depending on the waters of operation, boating regulations can be enforced by a number of recreational boating authorities such as the Coast Guard, military, state/providence agencies, police/sheriffs, and local authorities. Operators must comply with enforcement officers if signaled to stop the boat and obey the commands of the boating authorities including boarding and inspections.

    Emergency vessels (boating authorities and fire-fighting watercraft) are usually clearly marked and display flashing lights when engaged in official duties. When seeing the flashing lights, you must yield the right-of-way and immediately reduce speed, stop, and remain in that position until the emergency watercraft has passed. When approaching an emergency watercraft with emergency lights activated, alter course to give as wide a berth as possible so as not to interfere with the emergency vessel, slow to a no-wake speed, and proceed slowly unless directed otherwise by an officer on the emergency vessel.


    Thank you,
    John

    ------------------------------
    John Jost

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  • 12.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-14-2022 12:24 PM
    Here is Oregon's:

     ORS 830.035 Peace officers to enforce chapter; fleeing; attempts to elude. (1) The sheriff of each county and all other peace officers shall be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and any regulations made by the State Marine Board pursuant thereto. In the exercise of this responsibility, a peace officer may stop any boat and direct it to a suitable pier or anchorage for boarding.

          (2) No person, while operating a boat on any waters of this state, shall knowingly flee or attempt to elude any law enforcement officer after having received a signal from a law enforcement officer to bring the boat to a stop. (ORS 830.035)

    OAR 250-011-0050
    6) Any vessel approaching, overtaking, being approached, or being overtaken by a moving law enforcement vessel operating with a siren or an illuminated flashing blue light, or any vessel approaching a stationary law enforcement vessel displaying an illuminated blue light, shall:

    (a) Immediately slow to a speed sufficient to maintain steerage only, shall alter its course, within its ability, so as not to inhibit or interfere with the operation of the law enforcement vessel, and shall proceed, unless otherwise directed by the operator of the law enforcement vessel, at the reduced speed until beyond the area of operation of the law enforcement vessel;

    (b) Notwithstanding the operational requirements of section 6 (a) of this rule, vessels shall not be required to operate in a manner that would endanger or be likely to endanger that craft, other nearby watercraft, or other persons or property. 



    ------------------------------
    MariAnn McKenzie
    BLA/Boating Safety Ed. Coord.
    Oregon State Marine Board
    503-798-2735
    mariann.mckenzie@boat.oregon.gov
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Pull Over Law

    Posted 03-14-2022 12:51 PM
    Ohio has a law modeled to mirror (as closely as possible) the highway law:

    https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-1547.132

    (A) As used in this section, "public service" means activities that include, but are not limited to, escorting or patrolling special water events, traffic control, salvage, firefighting, medical assistance, assisting disabled vessels, and search and rescue.

    (B) No person shall operate a vessel at a speed that creates a wake within one hundred feet of a stationary law enforcement vessel displaying at least one flashing, oscillating, or rotating light conforming with 33 C.F.R. 88.11.

    (C) No person shall operate a vessel at a speed that creates a wake within one hundred feet of a vessel that is being used to provide public service and that displays at least one flashing, oscillating, or rotating light conforming with 33 C.F.R. 88.12.

    (D) No person shall permit any vessel to be operated on the waters in this state in violation of this section.



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    Deb Green
    Operational Systems & Regulatory Program Administrator
    OH DNR, Parks & Watercraft
    ------------------------------