Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Safety and adherence to laws important during boating


Many people from Illinois enjoy outdoor recreational activities. Hiking, biking, waterskiing and boating are some of the most preferred outdoor activities. However, while doing such fun and active activities, there is also a likelihood of accidents. Safety information, training and laws have been created and are mandated to help reduce accidents.

Boating is one such activity where an accident can prove to be fatal. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Marine Unit and the United States Coast Guard work together to prevent boating accidents. They ensure that the laws are followed by the boaters, confirm that watercrafts are inspected and respond to boating accidents.

Enthusiasts of boating are also advised by officials to undergo the Illinois Boating Education Course. This course covers basic safety during boating, navigation, equipment and requirements, registration and relevant Illinois laws helping the boaters handle situations in water. However, boating accidents still occur, often due to a negligent boater.

A boater involved in a boating accident will have to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. Failure to submit to the test or failing the test will result in Illinois Secretary of State suspending the Illinois driving license of the motorboat operator. If the person is found to be careless or driving under the influence, the person's privileges to operate the motorboat can be suspended for one to three years.

When involved in a boating accident, the person should call 911. The Illinois Conservation Police Officers will be dispatched immediately upon being informed of the incident. The accident victim can also file a claim for damages against the wrongdoer. If proven, the person can file a claim for medical costs and other related losses from the negligent boater.

Source: LakeCountyIL.gov, "Boat Safety Information," accessed on Aug. 27, 2014

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