08-21-2010, 01:13 PM #1
MD Riders - FYI If You Didn't Know
I was in Middle River, MD today and I received a warning for crossing the wake of a boat twice.
What I did: I crossed the wake of a boat (jumped the waves), and when I crossed the other set of waves on the other side of the boat I turned around and went the opposite direction and jumped the wake. I was probably 400 feet from the boat and I was jumping away from the boat.
I was pulled over and told that I cannot jump the wake of a boat. I can cross the wake of boat when traveling from point a to point b once. Fortunately I got a warning for negligent operation. I was told this fine was $325 if I was charged with the violation. I consider myself lucky.
Are my days of wake jumping gone?
BTW I didn't know it but you need to have a pwc sticker from the dnr on your pwc. I scanned what it looks like along with the violation.
08-22-2010, 05:30 PM #2
I love the b.s. dnr here come up with to hassle pwcs. 400ft. back and hitting some wake without endangering anyone. Maybe they should pull over wakeboarders and waterskiiers too. Welcome to Marylandistan, it's for your own good.
As for the sticker, they never sent me one nor did anyone say anything when I registered my ski. Its funny cause I had the sticker that says the same exact thing on my compartment below the steering, stock from seadoo. It wasn't valid because it doesn't say Maryland on it.
08-22-2010, 06:28 PM #3
I said the same thing. Luckily I got the sticker without the ticket.
It makes me thing of the old MD saying:
"Maryland: If you dream it we can tax it."
Maybe I should change that to "fine you".
08-22-2010, 07:34 PM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
wow, didn`t know maryland was that strict with pwc`s... guess I should cross this state off the list...
08-23-2010, 09:10 PM #5
I scratched Jersey off a long time ago, except for AC
08-31-2010, 10:30 AM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
That is insane and total 100% bullcrap. I'm not a lawyer, but unless something recently changed or there was other stuff going on we don't know about - it's total BS. Take this to court! I really think you can beat this one - especially for HOW the officer wrote it up!
I went thru the entire training for MD Basic Boat cert like everyone, and know all the applicable pwc laws. I think the officer just wanted to be a jerk, IMHO. Note that on the sticker itself, it has the 'you may not jump the wake of a vessel...' verbiage --BUT, only within 100 feet of the vessel. Which is really moot - you can't operate at speed within a 100 feet of a vessel, jumping wake or not.
You'll also note he didn't cite you for a specific law or code violation "jumping wake"... he cited you for "other" and wrote in "neg operation of pwc". So the specific component of law he certifies you broke was the Negligent Operation of a PWC. If you were indeed over 100 foot from the other vessel (only you and he know how far back you were, tho I tend to believe ya), and not engaged of anything else illegal, then you did not break the law. If there IS some new law about 'jumping wake', then he sould have wrote that on the ticket, and not neg operation.
Neg Operation is a VERY subjective infraction anyway, and could potentially have a shot at being beaten in court. But, here is the real kicker: Since he actually wrote "jumping wake" **AND** also did not cite you for "Exceeding Speed Limit" and most importantly, did NOT cite you for "PWC Distance/Speed Violation", then he is basically admitting that you did not violate speed or distance laws. If, in court, he would say 'you were within 100 feet of the boat' or 'speeding', then WHY wasn't that the citation? If that is true (and it is) and jumping wake itself is not a crime (and unless something changed in the last 3 months, it's not), then he wrote you up for a crime that isn't illegal. The only thing they'll have is neg operation, which is highly subjective to the point that you've got a decent shot at getting this thrown out.
Man, PLEASE...can you go to court?!! Please please please! I'd love to see this get thrown out, but more than that, I think it would be a good precedent to have for the rest of us. Heck I'd even go with you (no lie, PM me or something! I am dead serious - I would go. I get passionate about this type of dnr crap).
I'm all supportive of law enforcement - especially on the waterways. There are some real idiots out there. But I also know (incl. some friends who are cops) that the police can do whatever they want, and write whatever they wanna write. If they know you're not really breaking the law, but wanna pull you over and/or write you a citation, they can and do write whatever works at the time. You pay it, you admit guilt. You fight it, meh, it may or may not stick. It's no skin off their back. We all know they are biased against PWC'ers anyway. The only thing we can do is fight it, if we're really not guilty.
As background, I've beaten 2 tickets because the officers were jerks and wrote up something that wasn't correct. Both were non-moving violations, but I KNOW that if you wanna fight it and have the right words, you can beat it if you're really innocent.
PS--MD may be getting worse, but if you want real boat cop nazis--Go to Florida! Their fish & wildlife police (who have jurisdiction over boating like our DNR does) are insane. I rode twice down there, in 2 different areas. We were pulled over twice, and I saw an entire ramp of folks pulled over and ticketed the last time we went out. We were not doing anything wrong, they busted us for no-wake in a manatee zone. We were at 8mph. No wake in Florida, according to the cop, was "your hull has to be completely horizontal", which is dang near impossible with a pwc. Everywhere we went there were police, and we weren't in Miami or anything - we were near Cocoa Beach and then Sebastian.
09-03-2010, 12:19 AM #7
One of my dreams is to drag my ski down to florida from NY and ski till i cant ski no more and then ski some more. I have heard all about all the boat cops down there... I guess i will have to budget some extra money for fines and such.. my stupid 250x causes a wake and bow is out of the water even with no throttle! easily 4-5 MPH...at 1300-1400 RPM... I'll have to something heavy in the front compartment.
09-03-2010, 08:29 PM #8
Waverunner_02. He got a "warning", not a ticket. So no fine, thus no court to go to. I do agree that it sounds like total B.S. Just be glad that he didn't give a ticket despite him not really breaking any laws (greater than 100' from the boat) and then he would have had to fight it. Dunno of this should be sent to someone at the AWA just so they can keep on eye on MD?
09-10-2010, 09:04 AM #9
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
Yeah, I see that now; I'm actually surprised b/c I didn't know the DNR even wrote warnings any more...I was told that by a DNR cop once but hey, they'll say/write whatever makes sense at the time to detain and/or scare you...lol.
Still, I am thankful MD isn't as crazy as Florida (and they haven't tried to make PWC riders wear helmets like NJ tried a few years back!).
09-10-2010, 09:08 AM #10
Written warnings? I never heard of that.. i always thought that ANY kind of warning was verbal.. oh..well..
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