Arkansas’ Laws for Reckless, Careless, and Negligent Boat Operation
Reckless boat operation is not permitted in the state of Arkansas. Careless, reckless or negligent boat operation is defined in the state as operating any boat or manipulating any waterskis, aquaplane or similar device in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.
Examples of reckless, careless, or negligent boat operation include:
- Operating in a designated swimming area.
- Weaving through congested traffic at more than idle speed.
- Jumping the wake of another boat unreasonably close to the other boat.
- Waiting until the last possible moment to swerve to avoid a collision.
- Creating a hazardous wake.
- Harassing or disturbing wildlife.
- Riding on the boat’s stern, bow, gunwales or transom.
- Overloading a boat beyond the safe carrying capacity.
- Overpowering a boat beyond the recommended horsepower capacity.
- Towing a waterskier in a restricted area or where an obstruction exists.
Boat Speed Limits and Operation in Restricted Areas
It is illegal to operate a boat at a rate of speed that creates a hazardous wash or wake upon approaching or passing boats, including, but not limited to:
- A wake that causes other boats to take-on water.
- A wake sufficient to toss occupants of other boats about in a manner to cause injury or the risk of injury.
It is illegal to operate at greater than ‘No Wake Speed’ when within 100 feet of a designated recreation area, dock, pier, raft, float, anchored boat, dam, intake structure, or other obstruction at a speed greater than 5 miles per hour, unless a another speed limit has been established in the area.
Boat operators should always be aware of the laws that apply within their state, and should never operate their vessels in a careless, reckless, or negligent manner. Always pay attention to boat traffic, and follow the regulations that apply on the waterway where you’re operating.