Current as of: 2009
(a) No person shall operate any motor-boat or vessel in any harbor or inlet or any pond or other confined body of water in this state in excess of forty-five (45) miles per hour during the hours from sunrise to sunset and twenty-five (25) miles per hour during periods of darkness or other periods of restricted visibility; provided, however, nothing herein shall prohibit the posting of lesser speed limits where deemed necessary by the appropriate state or local authority.
(b) Violations of this section shall be as follows:
(1) The first violation, if no greater than ten (10) miles per hour over the speed limit, shall be a civil offense which shall require payment of a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) assessment fee and the violator may be required to attend a boating safety course.
(2) Any violation in excess of ten (10) miles per hour over the speed limit shall be deemed a misdemeanor with fines as follows:
(i) 11-15 miles per hour in excess of speed limit $50.00
(ii) 16-20 miles per hour in excess of speed limit $75.00
(iii) 21-25 miles per hour in excess of speed limit $100
(iv) Greater than 25 miles per hour Fine of five dollars
in excess of speed limit: ($5.00) per mile in
excess of speed limit.
(v) The violator shall also be required to attend a boating safety course.
(3) State, federal, and local law enforcement and rescue agencies may exceed this speed limit when responding to an emergency or law enforcement action: provided that this speed does not endanger any person not involved in this action.
(c) The operation of personal watercrafts, as defined, use, speed, age of operator, and area of operation shall be regulated by the department of environmental management. Rules and regulations shall be promulgated by the department within three (3) months of June 16, 1991.
Rhode Island Laws: Watercraft
Federal Regulations: Watercraft