Boaters’ Rules of the “Road”

Enjoy safe boating this summer and every season.

Enjoy safe boating this summer and every season.

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan on operating a boat, certain items are necessary to have on board for the safety of you and your passengers.

You should have a sound producing device, and you should have a life jacket for every person that’s on board. If you’re boating at night, you should have the proper lights—that are working—and we suggest a first aid kit.

Tim Spice, manager of boater education for Parks and Wildlife, says anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 is required to take boater education.

We cover lots of different things, including safety aspects of boating; the different types of vessel you may have; the rules of the road; the required equipment. Again, everyone on board a vessel needs to have a lifejacket that’s accessible. We define what accessible means by law so that you don’t get in trouble when you’re on the water and a game warden stops to give you a boating safety check.

He advises filing a float plan with someone onshore that details where you’ll be and when you plan to return, in case an emergency occurs while on the water. Remember: the rules for operating a boat are different than for a car.

There’s no lines on the road; there’s no speed limits, per se. There are different signs and things you have to look out for that are very different than you would in your car.

By taking a boating safety course—online or in a classroom—you’ll learn those rules.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and works to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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