Negligent Boat Operation is:
The failure to exercise the care necessary to protect the rights, safety, or property of others.
In Idaho, these dangerous operating practices are illegal:
- Boating in an area where buoys or other markers clearly mark a swimming area or some other restricted area.
- Becoming airborne while crossing the wake of another vessel at an unsafe distance from the vessel creating the wake.
- Weaving through congested waterway traffic.
- Swerving at the last possible moment in order to avoid a collision.
- Causing danger or damage from the wake of your vessel.
- Chasing, harassing, or disturbing wildlife with your vessel.
- Riding on a seat back, gunwale, transom, or bow.
- Operating at speeds that are too fast for the operator to bring the vessel to a stop within an assured clear distance ahead.
- Overloading – exceeding the maximum allowed number of persons, maximum allowed pounds of persons, or maximum allowed combined pounds of persons and equipment.
- Overpowering – if your vessel is powered by an outboard motor, you must not exceed the allowed horsepower.
Idaho’s Laws for Boat Speed Limits and Operation in Restricted Areas
It is illegal to operate at a speed greater than “No Wake” speed or 5 miles per hour while within 100 feet of a dock, swimmer or other person in the water, except when safely pulling a waterskier from a dock, or when safely dropping off a waterskier at or near a dock, or when the swimmer or other person in the water is the boat’s waterskier.
Idaho’s Restricted Zones
It is illegal to operate a boat in any area which has been clearly marked in accordance with, and as authorized by the laws of this state, by buoys or some other distinguishing device as a bathing, swimming or other restricted area. This law does not apply to emergency, patrol or rescue boats.
For more inforation on negligent boat operation laws and regulations, visit Idaho’s State Parks and Recreation website.