The Rules of the Road are a must to ensure the safety of drivers on our highways while traveling, and the state ensures that those that drive a motor vehicle are educated about these rules by mandating a testing and licensing process in order to drive a vehicle. Those that operate a boat should also understand that there are certain rules of the road that need to be followed for safe navigation on our lakes. But, because the state does not mandate any formal training to operate a boat, most people do not take the time to become educated on the proper way to operate a vessel. As marine enforcement officers, we see this on display time and time again as we stop boaters for basic navigation violations, and the typical reply we hear is “I didn’t know”. Well, this can be a costly mistake as you sign a citation for an offense on the water, and it is of little comfort to a grieving family when these boating violations result in the injury or death of another person.
The fact is, a boat is a motorized vehicle and requires a certain amount of knowledge and training to safely operate. For this reason, we highly encourage everyone that operates a boat on the lakes in Oklahoma to take the time to attend a Boater Safety Course. All it takes is a day of your time to reduce your risk of making a costly mistake on the water.
The GRDA Police Department will once again offer the FREE Boater Safety Courses this year. If you are a new boat driver, you should certainly take the time to attend this course so you will know how to keep your loved ones safe while enjoying your time on the water. Even if you have driven a boat for years, there is always information you can learn by attending a boating training class. Our course is taught by seasoned lake police officers that know boating laws and navigation regulations, and can provide a large amount of information about navigating on GRDA lakes in an interactive atmosphere.
Do you know what the speed limit is in a No Wake zone? Do you know who is required to wear a life jacket and when on your boat, or how to properly select a life jacket? Do you know who has the right-of-way on the water? How old do you have to be to drive a boat, and what are you required by law to have? Do you know what boating regulations are specific to GRDA lakes? This and much, much more is some of the information you can learn by attending the Boater Safety Class.
The GRDA Police Department Kyle Williams Boater Safety Course is a state approved course that will certify you and your family members that are 12 years of age or older on how to safely operate a vessel on the lakes. This certification is recognized on any Oklahoma lake or in any reciprocating state. If you are a parent or grandparent that wants your kids to be able to drive a Personal Water Craft, then this is the course for them to attend. State law allows for kids that are 12 to 16 years of age to drive a boat or PWC, but only after successfully completing this course.
The numbers don’t lie; only 14 percent of deaths occur on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction. Knowing how to keep your family safe while on the water is the primary benefit of attending this course, but it is also a fun, informative, free activity that all members of your family can attend to get them excited and ready for the boating season. An added benefit for boat owners is that many insurance companies will give you a rate reduction on your boat insurance for attending this course! Sign up now for you and your family to attend the Boater Safety Course by going to our website at www.grda.com/kyle-williams-boating-safety-classes-registration.