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This entry was published on 2017-10-27
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SECTION 45
Reckless operation of a vessel; speed
Navigation (NAV) CHAPTER 37, ARTICLE 4, PART 1
§ 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 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 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.