Report #1- We spoke with a police commander about where marine enforcement will be focused this summer
The Scoop- There are very few boats for which marine police could not find some sort of infraction. In fact, there are just too many for marine enforcement to effectively pursue. To address this concern, marine police use research and accident reports to identify the specific boating infractions that warrant the most attention. These are then discussed and plans initiated to enforce the appropriate rules. Knowing these police priorities can save a boater from legal problems and unnecessary expense. We have found an inside source at the highest levels of marine management who is willing to discuss their action plans, in order to provide advance information to boaters. Top tips from a top cop who we will simply refer to as "Deep Voice."
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As we had arranged, I sat waiting in my car at the back of the Walmart parking lot. I was momentarily startled when the passenger door opened and 'Deep Voice' sat down. We skipped the usual pleasantries as he said he was pressed for time. He told me that his on water police had noted a marked increase in the improper use of navigation lights.
This, plus three recent bad accidents resulting from the misuse of night lights has prompted a decision to invoke a 'no second chance' policy on lighting infractions. He noted that stern lights in particular are often not used, or altered to prevent reflection in the windshield. Some boaters use black tape to partially cover the light but some don't use their navigation lights at all. Effective immediately, such offenders will be stopped and fined. Deep Voice explained that it is only the combination of the red port, green starboard and white stern light, that allows boaters to track the speed and direction of boat traffic at night. He stated that the improper use of lights is a serious offense and all boaters must ensure that their lights work and use them properly.
I thanked Deep Voice for the tip and he left my car as quickly as he had entered.
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Watch for the next "Top Cop" inside tip from 'Deep Voice' at the marine police department.