Jet Ski Laws

The state of Florida attracts millions of visitors each year due to its tropical climate and recreational areas. Many of these visitors, along with native Floridians, will inevitably choose to beat the heat by spending time at one of Florida’s many lakes, rivers, or beaches.

Florida is famous for water-based activities such as boating, tubing, water skiing, and Jet Skiing. Because of the sheer volume of people participating in these activities and the fact that the state leads the nation in Personal Watercraft (PWC) accidents, Florida has very specific Jet Ski laws and regulations regarding their use.

Jet Ski Legal Restrictions

There are several sets of restrictions that apply to anyone who wishes to operate a Jet Ski in the state of Florida. These range from age restrictions to restrictions of conduct while operating a Jet Ski.

Some examples of Jet Ski laws in Florida include:

  • Persons under the age of 14 may not operate a Jet Ski
  • Persons under the age of 18 may not rent a Jet Ski
  • No one may ride a Jet Ski without a lifejacket and the driver must attach the engine cutoff lanyard to his or her lifejacket
  • Jet Skis may not be operated by persons with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher
  • Jet Skis may not be operated from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise
  • Jet Skis may not be operated in a reckless way that distracts or endangers other watercraft

Jet Ski Accident Laws

The law regarding accidents involving Jet Skis and other PWCs can be complex. Any major accidents with property damage totaling more than $2,000 or injuries that require more medical attention than basic first aid must be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Sherriff, or the local county Sherriff. It is illegal to flee the scene of a Jet Ski accident.

Boater Education Laws

There are also several regulations in the state of Florida regarding boater education programs. Florida offers several boater education classes.

Some of these classes are compulsory for certain persons:

  • Persons operating a Jet Ski born after January 1, 1988 must receive either a boater education course certificate or a temporary certificate prior to operation
  • Persons born after January 1, 1988 must also carry a valid boater education ID card with them
  • Anyone involved in 2 PWC accidents within 1 year of each other

Legal regulations regarding Jet Ski accidents in Florida can be complicated and obscure. If you think that you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured by a Jet Ski accident, contact a specialized Jet Ski accident attorney. He or she will help you to understand what the law says regarding your case.

 

Sources:

“Boating Regulations.” Boating. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Web. 9 May 2015.

“Recreational Boating Statistics.” Library. United States Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security, 13 May 2013. Web. 9 May 2015.

“Florida Boat Registration, Licenses, Forms, Insurance Requirements & Information.” Florida. Department of Motor Vehicles. Web. 9 May 2015.