Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

Yesterday, we had a case of Forsyth sheriff's water patrol incorrectly trying to enforce the pff laws to sailboards (or legal definition).
OCGA 52-7-3 is the relevant GA legal code
Section 22.1 defines a sailboard
Section 25 specifically excludes sailboards from the definition of vessels for regs.
We do have the same rights for navigation as other sailing craft.
I have reached out to them and spoke to iirc Corp Miller this morning.
I'm all for safety and wear a non CGA float and impact device. However there are times and places a CGA pfd can make windsurfing significantly less safe. That's why we campaignred 25 years ago for the exclusion.

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Joined: 03/19/2008 - 23:50
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Re: Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

We twice got the law changed, in '88 and again in '95.

Stop me if you've heard this before... Ginny Ferguson & I got stopped in '95 between the time the law was changed and when it went into effect on July 1st. Splainin' about all that didn't dissuade the DNR ranger from writing us each a ticket.

This required an appearance in a Hall County Court where the room was packed with miscreants from deep in the woods up yonder... sort of entertaining in a rubbernecking-a-car-wreck kind of way. I think the Judge was a little bit pleased to see us when it was our turn– an innocuous pair with a bit more interesting story than the usual "she hit me first" or "I had to drive your honor. I was too drunk to walk"! Shok

Charges were quickly dismissed with a bit of advice. "Don't assume the guys that can arrest you actually know the law" and in what I've taken to heart as a Court Order she said, "Ya'll go and have a good time". Good

If you get stopped on a PFD thing, my advice is to ask the officer to "call it in"... And be nice. They have guns.

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Joined: 08/26/2003 - 15:07
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Re: Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

I got a ticket in 94 for not wearing a pdf. As a broke college student at the time, it really pizzed me off!! Thanks for getting this clarified!

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bpw
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Re: Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

I printed the 1994 Club page and plan to carry it in my Van in case I'm stopped again.

Barrett

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Re: Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

Be interesting to see if bringing a page copied from a 25 year old ABC newsletter would be enough to convince a policeman not to give a ticket. I'm thinking of putting a copy in a plastic bag and carrying it with me when sailing.

BTW - would seem like SUP's would be required to use PFD's since they are not exempt. They seldom wear them at the river.

There is no off season.

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webguy's picture
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Re: Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

Use a sharpie and write this on your sails Biggrin
OCGA § 52-7-3 (22.1) OCGA § 52-7-3 (25)

btw
OCGA § 52-7-3 (22.1)
"Sailboard" means any sailboat whose unsupported mast is connected by a swivel or a flexible universal joint to a hull similar to the hull of a surfboard.
(25) "Vessel" means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels; provided, however, Code Section 52-7-18, relating to rules of the road for boat traffic, shall be applicable to sailboards.
(Bolding mine)

Edit: this does beg the question of how wing powered boards will be treated.
Edit edit: Rules of the road (Inland version) https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf Rule 18 (p. 35) is useful on Lanier.

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Randy
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Re: Forsyth incorrect pfd enforcement

I usually carry an approved PFD in my car just in case the authorities aren't legal scholars and aren't impressed with my impact vest and are willing to let me go get it after a warning. So far I've only got a warning for parking in trailer space in an empty parking lot in February. But now I never park in trailer spaces. Tickets are more trouble to get out of than to pay.

There is no off season.

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