Follow Idaho’s Boating Laws For Safe Recreation

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Safety at Lake Coeur d’Alene Requires Following Idaho Boating Laws

If you plan on renting or purchasing Idaho Boat Safety Regulations for use on Lake Coeur d’Alene, be sure that you know Idaho boating regulations. Additional Kootenai County or municipal ordinances may may be applicable, so, check with the authorities before boating. Idaho’s state boating laws generally relate to boating speed limits, wakes, negligence, collisions, and safety/supervisory regulations for minors. We want every visitor to Lake Coeur d’Alene to have a safe and enjoyable vacation.

The Hagadone Marine Group, your Adult Supervision Regulations For Idaho Boating, recommends that you familiarize yourself with Idaho regulations, take a safety class, and make sure to follow safe boating guidelines.

Adult Supervision Requirements under Idaho Boating Laws

As with driving a car, truck or SUV, there are many regulations regarding child safety. Idaho boating laws require adult supervision of minors and the use of life vests and/or floatation devices. A few boating regulations for minors include:

o Adult supervision of all teenagers between the ages of 10 to 14 years old is required when a teenager operates the vessel, unless the boat motor is less than 15 horsepower
o Children under 14 years of age are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket/vest or floatation device when on any watercraft or boat longer than 19 feet in length (motorboat or manually propelled)
o Children 14 years old or younger must use a life jacket when a boat or vessel is underway

Speed Limits, Boat Collisions and No Wakes on Idaho Lakes and Rivers

Idaho law provides specific speed limits, and requires boating collisions to be reported under several conditions. You need to report boating accidents on public waterways when:
o A collision happens and damage is likely more than $1,500
o There is a personal injury is injured
o A death occurs resulting from the boat collision
o A person or persons is missing as a result of a collision

Both parties should immediately report the incident to a county Sheriff’s Department and/or to any other applicable law enforcement authorities.

Boat operators on Idaho public waterways are limited to specific speeds and no wake zones. Boating speed limitations include:

o A speed limit of 50 mph during the day on public lakes
o A speed limit of 20 mph on public lakes during night time
o A speed limit of 35 mph on public rivers during the daytime
o A speed limit of 20 mph on rivers during night time hours

Boat and vessel operators on Idaho’s public waterways are required to limit boat wakes for the safety of other boaters, skiers and anyone using a lake or river for recreational purposes. “No Wake Zones” have specific speed limitations including:

o No Wake Zones on Lakes–a boat speed should not exceed 5 mph within 200 feet of a shoreline, a person in the water, a breakwater, or public or private pier or doc (for example, at a marina)
o No Wake Zone on Rivers–a boat speed should not exceed 5 mph within 100 feet of shorelines, when an individual is in the water, near a breakwater, or near a public or private dock or pier (at a marina, for example)

For additional information about general boat navigation and boating safety, please review the U.S. Coast Guard website, review laws with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, or review Kootenai County’s boating safety brochure (if visiting our waterways), or review information from the Idaho State Law Library.

Note: This information is not legal advice, and it should in no way be construed as such.

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