New Boating Laws Take Effect July 1, 2014

DNR Rangers diligently patrol Lakes Allatoona and Lanier.  ~~  Photograph by Robert Sutherland
DNR Rangers diligently patrol Lakes Allatoona and Lanier. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

New boating laws began to take effect on July 1, 2014, in addition to those enacted last year in Georgia.

As of May 15, 2013, legislation required all boats to have personal flotation devices (PFD) for each person on board.

Although it may cause battles in families with 12-year-olds, everyone under the age of 13 must wear a U. S. Coast Guard approved PFD while onboard any moving boat, except for when a child is in a fully enclosed cabin.

No, PFDs do not look cool to young people.  Yes, adults will be ticketed if passengers on their boats are not properly wearing life preservers / PFDs.

Now, a boater education course must be successfully completed before operators born on or after January 1, 1998 may drive a vessel.

“In an effort to provide a mechanism for ensuring that Georgia boaters are knowledgeable, boaters will be required to complete a boating education course,” says DNR Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of Law Enforcement. “After all, tragedy can happen quickly and making an effort to learn boating laws, rules and regulations can potentially save a life – including your own.”

There are three ways to take the mandatory boating education course: in a classroom, online or in a home study program.

Most boat rental facilities offer the course, which must be passed, before young Georgians can operate a vessel on public waters.

You may choose to ignore these laws, but law enforcement officers will be enforcing them.

Click Here for New Boating Laws in GA

Click Here for DNR Boating Regulations


About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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