Boaters need to follow rules

I have been a Lake Orion lake shore resident and boater for over 50 years. Also, I have a good view of the lake from my easy chair. At night I have observed an increasing number of boats which do not have all of the required navigational lights visible, particularly the white stern lights which must be visible all around the boat. The navigation lights are required to be lit from sunset to sunrise. The other infraction I see almost nightly is boats using the bright docking lamps as headlamps away from shore. The law only allows those lamps to be lit when approaching the shore. When they are used continually the boat operator’s night vision is compromised all around except straight ahead and other boaters are distracted.
Occasionally I see boats running fast after dark, a clear violation of the requirement for no wake speed from one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise. Since we rarely have Sheriff’s patrol boats on the lake after dark, these violations go uncontrolled.
Another problem I see is a few boats going around the lake the wrong way. They are required to go counter clockwise by state law. These are usually new boaters who are unfamiliar with the rules. Sellers or renters of boats should tell new boaters the basic rules for the lake.
There are many new boats with very powerful engines that go too fast. Recently I saw a new pontoon boat with two 200 hp outboard motors. I believe the speed limit on water in Michigan is 50 mph which can be attained with far less than 200 hp, even towing a skier or tube.
If this is a matter of operators not knowing the law, I hope those who read this will begin to comply.
Don Meyer
Lake Orion resident

3 Responses to "Boaters need to follow rules"

  1. Angela   June 25, 2016 at 3:32 am

    I will be bringing my boat tomorrow for the fireworks, will the public boat launch remain open after the fireworks so i can stay on the water after dark? This will be my first time watching fireworks from the boat.

    Reply
  2. Joie   September 1, 2016 at 5:00 am

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  3. JerryRichards   June 25, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Lake Orion has boating rules specific to Lake Orion including a 40 MPH speed limit. Following the rules is prime essential to boating safety. They read as follows,

    LAKE ORION – R281.763.9 – Prohibited conduct.

    9. (1) On the waters of Lake Orion and the canals and channels connected thereto, sections 2, 3, 10, and 11, T4N, R10E, village of Lake Orion and Orion township, Oakland county, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow–no wake speed when within 100 feet of any shore, dock, raft, buoyed or occupied bathing area, or vessel moored or at anchor, except when water skiers are being picked up or dropped off if that operation is otherwise conducted with due regard to the safety of persons and property and in accordance with the laws of this state.

    (2) On the waters of Lake Orion and the canals and channels connected thereto, sections 2, 3, 10, and 11, T4N, R10E, village of Lake Orion and Orion township, Oakland county, it is unlawful, during the period of 1 hour after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise, to:

    (a) Operate a vessel at high speed.

    (b) Have in tow, or otherwise assist in the propulsion of, a person on water skis, a water sled, kite, surfboard, or other similar contrivance.

    (3) On the waters of Lake Orion and the canals and channels connected thereto, sections 2, 3, 10, and 11, T4N, R10E, village of Lake Orion and Orion township, Oakland county, it is unlawful at any time to operate a vessel at a speed in excess of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour).

    History: Eff. September 23, 1978

    Web Link – https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/managing-resources/laws/controls/localcontrols/oakland/local-watercraft-controls

    Reply

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