Boating on water in the state of Illinois is governed by a variety of rules, regulations, codes and acts that apply to every vessel, owner and operator. In fact, every operator of a pleasure craft must be fully aware of all these rules, and maintain compliance while on the water. Any violation of a rule, regulation, code or act can bring charges against the operator. Not only is the operator responsible for the boat, but also every passenger, crew member, and damage caused to the vessel, or other vessels, by movement of the boat through the water.
Many areas throughout Illinois are water-rich, and ideal for a variety of water-related activities including wildlife watching, shoreline and boat fishing, paddling, skiing, and enjoying nature.
Safety Courses for Boat Operators
Operators of motor driven watercraft vehicles on Illinois waterways, lakes and rivers are encouraged to take the Illinois boating license safety course to obtain an alloy boating license. This is because maintaining and operating a vessel safely is of the utmost importance. The state of Illinois offers a boating educational course that is free to the public. The Illinois boating license safety course covers a variety of information including boating safety, registration and titling, navigation, requirement and equipment, emergency measures, motor boating, and standardized Illinois boating laws.
Designed specifically for the young, individual boating operators between 12 years and 18 years old are required to take the course. Once receiving an Illinois Boating Education Certificate of Competency upon completion of at least eight hours of instructions, the young individual can operate a vessel without supervision. Children 12 years to 18 years without a board education certificate of competency can operate a motorboat while the vessel is under direct control of a parent/guardian that is at least 18 years or older.
Taking the Course
Traditional methods for taking the eight-hour course include classes led by an instructor. These courses are taught usually in a single day, over a weekend, or a couple of days. The final step in the class involves an exam that must be passed to receive the Certificate of Competency.
Students may also take an online self-study course set at their own pace. Involved course material requires the completion of chapters along with the requirement to pass the exam. The Internet course provider will mail the Certificate of Completion to all online students upon successful completion of the exam.
Maintaining Boat Safety Regulations After Taking The Course
The state of Illinois does not allow any individual to operate, or give permission to any other to operate, watercraft unless the vessel has been numbered in accordance to the Illinois Boat Registry and Safety Act, or is in full compliance with applicable federal laws.
Maintaining safety on waterways is essential to ensure the protection of all operators and passengers on lakes, waterways and rivers in and around Illinois. In 2012 alone, 51 out of 217 boating accident fatalities in Illinois were linked directly to alcohol use. In addition, there were nearly 1,400 boating accidents, and over 900 injuries within the state of Illinois boundaries within a 12-month time span.
Common types of injuries caused by negligent actions of others in boating accidents often involve:
- Amputations (see here)
- Back injuries (see here)
- Fractured bones (see here)
- Burns (see here)
- Joint dislocations
- Contusions and concussions
- Head injuries
- Internal injury
- Spinal injuries
- Strains and sprains
Often times, these boating accidents that cause injury are often the result of impact with other boats, impact with floating objects or fixed objects, waves and wakes, or being struck by a propeller. According to statistics, nearly 2/3 of boating accidents involving injuries in Illinois happen between lunchtime and midnight.
The greatest number of accidents with injuries and fatalities happen in calm waters on clear days with minimal wind and good visibility. This means that both operators and passengers must maintain vigilance against the boat capsizing, colliding with another vessel, hitting objects, or being struck by a propeller or motor. Maintaining safety also includes minimizing the potential of falling in the boat or overboard, being exposed to flooding waters, grounding the boat, or being injured when boarding or departing the vessel.
Boat safety should always be of the utmost importance. Anytime anyone is injured through the negligent actions of a boat operator, it is essential to seek out Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. Our Illinois boat accident lawyers have represented clients in boat accident cases in many different venues across Illinois. Call anytime to arrange a meeting or consultation concerning your case.