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    Do water safety rules apply to teens?

    Date: 09.05.07 | by Judge Tom.

    All people involved in recreational sports are required to follow water safety laws — whether posted or not. Violations result in heavy fines or loss of water privileges.

    Whether you go boating, waterskiing, or surfing, you should be aware of the safety rules. Speed signs, seating rules, and life jacket regulations apply to teenagers and adults alike. Making sure that your boat has the proper safety equipment, that you water ski without endangering swimmers or other skiers, or that you surf in marked areas is your responsibility. If your state permits teenagers to drive speedboats, it′s your job to see that your passengers follow all water-safety rules. When waterskiing, you need to designate someone to hold and properly use the flag to signal other boaters when the skier is down.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whether Generally, children under twelve aren′t permitted to operate a boat or any type of watercraft, unless it′s an emergency. There may be an exception for boats with low horsepower, or if an adult is present. If you′re caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs while boating, you could be fined, ordered to complete ommunity service or attend a substance abuse education program. If someone is hurt through your actions, you could face criminal or civil charges. When out on the water, play it safe and make sure your friends do the same.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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