N.Y. Navigation Law Section 45
Reckless operation of a vessel

  • speed

1.

(a) Every master or operator of a vessel shall at all times navigate the same in a careful and prudent manner in such a way as not to unreasonably interfere with the free and proper use of the navigable waters of the state and all tidewaters bordering on or lying within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties or unreasonably endanger any vessel or person. Reckless operation is prohibited. Any person operating a vessel in violation of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as set forth in § 73-B (Misdemeanors)section seventy-three-b of this article.

(b)

No person shall operate a vessel at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. 1-a. No vessel other than the tending vessel shall be operated within one hundred feet of a red flag with a diagonal white bar which, when displayed on the water or from a boat, indicates underwater diving, or a designated course for racing shells but no such flag shall be placed so as to deny access or use of any boathouse, wharf, harbor, bay, channel or navigable waterway.

2.

Except as provided in § 45-CC (Reckless operation and speed on the canal system)section forty-five-cc of this part, no vessel shall be operated within one hundred feet of the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float or an anchored or moored vessel at a speed exceeding five miles per hour, unless such vessel is being operated near such shore, dock, float, pier, raft, or anchored vessel for the purpose of enabling a person engaged in water skiing to take off or land.

3.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to a vessel while actually competing in a regatta or boat race authorized under section thirty-four of this chapter.

4.

The provisions of subdivision two above shall not apply to commercial vessels having a valid marine document issued by the United States or a foreign government.

5.

The violation of any of the provisions of this section other than paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this section shall constitute a violation punishable as set forth in section seventy-three-c of this article.

7.

(a) The court may suspend a person’s privilege to operate a vessel for a period of at least three but less than twelve months upon conviction for reckless operation of a vessel pursuant to any applicable provision of this article. In determining the length of such suspension, the court may take into consideration the seriousness of the offense and may impose a period of suspension whereby such suspension may be in effect during a portion of the current or subsequent boating season.

(b)

The court shall suspend a person’s privilege to operate and may suspend a vessel registration:

(1)

for a period of at least six but less than twelve months where a person is convicted of reckless operation of a vessel pursuant to any applicable provision of this article after having been convicted of any such offense within the preceding eighteen months. In determining the length of such suspension or suspensions, the court may take into consideration the seriousness of the offense and may impose a period of suspension whereby such suspension may be in effect during a portion of the current or subsequent boating season;

(2)

for a period of at least six but less than twelve months upon a third or subsequent conviction for any violation of any law, ordinance or regulation limiting the speed of a vessel or any provision constituted a misdemeanor by this article except for the commission of a third or subsequent misdemeanor as set forth in subparagraph three of this paragraph. In determining the length of such suspension or suspensions, the court may take into consideration the seriousness of the offense and may impose a period of suspension whereby such suspension may be in effect during a portion of the current or subsequent boating season;

(3)

for a period of twelve months where a person is convicted of reckless operation of a vessel pursuant to any applicable provision of this article after having been twice convicted of any such offense within the preceding eighteen months.

(c)

When a person is convicted pursuant to this article the court may, in any case before the court, and shall when the convicted person is subject to a suspension pursuant to this subdivision, in addition to any other penalties invoked under this article, require the convicted person, as a condition of the sentence, to complete a boating safety course of the state, U.S. Power Squadrons, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or a powerboating course or courses offered by the United States sailing association which are approved by the commissioner and show proof of successful completion of such course to the court or its designee.

Source: Section 45 — Reckless operation of a vessel; speed, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/NAV/45 (updated Oct. 27, 2017; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

40
Equipment
40‑A
Manufacture and sale of outboard motors
40‑B
Sale and use of tributyltin paint
41
Pilot rules
42
Searchlights
42‑A
Tow-chains
43
Lights to be displayed
43‑A
Use of digital billboards
44
Noise levels on pleasure vessels
45
Reckless operation of a vessel
45‑A
Beaching a disabled water craft
45‑AA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Canandaigua lake
45‑AAA
Special provisions relating to speed on Irondequoit bay
45‑AAAA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Greenwood Lake
45‑AAAA*2
Special provisions relating to speed on Sodus Bay
45‑AAAAA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Lake Alice
45‑AAAAAA
Special provisions relating to noise and speed on Lamoka Lake and Waneta Lake
45‑AAAAAA*2
Special provisions relating to reckless operation, noise and speed on the Fulton Chain of Lakes
45‑B
Regulation of beaches
45‑C
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on Conesus lake
45‑CC
Reckless operation and speed on the canal system
45‑D
Special provisions relating to speed at Crooke’s Point in Great Kills Harbor
46
Vessel regulation zone
46‑A
Regulations of vessels
46‑AA
Special provisions relating to speed on lakes in Chautauqua county
46‑AAA
Special provisions relating to reckless operation and speed on certain lakes in Hamilton county
46‑AAAA
Special provisions relating to speed on Cuba lake
46‑B
Special provisions relating to speed on Saratoga lake
47
Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting
47‑A
Accidents
47‑B
Report to the commissioner required upon accident
48
Negligence in use or operation of vessel attributable to owner
49
Operator
49‑A
Operation of a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
49‑B
Operating a vessel after having consumed alcohol
49‑C
Termination of unsafe operation

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Oct. 27, 2017

§ 45’s source at nysenate​.gov

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