Boating Rules of the Road
Crackdown on Boating Under the Influence this 4th of July
This Fourth of July, Pennsylvania boaters will head to the lake to celebrate the holiday. The Pennsylvania State Police and the Fish and Boat Commission have stated that they will be on the lookout for boaters who may be under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Independence Day is among the holidays notorious for car accidents, many of which involve alcohol or drugs. But police are stressing that it’s not just drivers who need to be sober behind the wheel. Last year, dozens of citations were issued for people who were boating under the influence.
Still, the myth is perpetuated that driving a boat is less serious than driving a car.
Unlike roads, lakes don’t have stoplights or designated lanes to direct traffic. Most boaters don’t go through the same practice and testing that drivers do. What’s more, it’s not uncommon for young, inexperienced boaters – even teenagers – to go out on the water without boat safety training.
But a boat or jet ski accident can be just as devastating, or worse, than a car crash, and should be taken just as seriously.
Follow these boating “rules of the road” to keep your friends and family safe this summer:
- When crossing paths with another boat, the boat on the right has the right of way,
- When meeting head-on, both boats should keep to the right to safely pass each other,
- Never drink and drive a boat,
- And maintain a safe speed on the water and give other vessels plenty of space.
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