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Clamcakes
05-27-2013, 06:01 PM
Anybody know if running your LEDs at night on Texas lakes illegal? Had a buddy get pulled over on Lake Texoma after dark running his in boat LEDs. We're thinking it was BS and lake patrol just used it as a reason to pull him over.

Officer told him you can have them on while stationary but not running. Would seem it would be safer at night because other folks would be able to see your boat.

ian ashton
05-27-2013, 06:07 PM
I believe that they are illegal everywhere, since red, green, and white are used for navigation (non-navigation lights in those colors could be confusing) and red and blue are police (again, confusing).

That said, I have yet to get nailed for LEDs on a Michigan lake (knock on wood)

tgoody14
05-27-2013, 06:17 PM
NOT illegal! Law only states you MUST have "one bright light visible all around" and navigation lights!
I pulled up at the dock one night while the Coast Guard were performing boat checks on Lake Amistad and all they said were, "Nice Lights! You guys could stay out all night light up like that..."

I run Blue LEDs but nothing higher than the side of the boat...

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_br_l2000_0001.pdf

Full version
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_l2000_0014.pdf

tgoody14
05-27-2013, 06:31 PM
Wait.... Check the last sentence

This could be their "grey area" that allows them to stop you, but it isn't exact enough to be written up as a violation of law...

31.064. Lights
A vessel or motorboat when not at dock must have and exhibit at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight from sunset to sunrise in all weather. A vessel or motorboat when underway between sunset and sunrise in all weather must have and exhibit the lights prescribed by the commandant of the Coast Guard for boats of its class. No other lights that may be mistaken for those prescribed may be exhibited.

Clamcakes
05-27-2013, 06:56 PM
Yeah you might be right...the last sentence "No other lights that may be mistaken for those prescribed may be exhibited. "

Problem we had with it, was his lights are speaker ring LEDs. They're not outside of the boat or tower speakers. So that's why we were calling 'bulsh' on it. Reason to pull him over and jack with him.

MLA
05-27-2013, 06:57 PM
Clam,

Im not in TX, so takes this with a grain of salt. I had a long talk with a long time lake patrol officer back in Feb at the boat show. If its in the boat and below the gunwale, its considered courtesy lights, regardless of color. If its above the deck or on the exterior of the boat, here is the general thinking. The laws do not say whats illegal, but rather they state clearly what is required: White 360 and red/green seen no more then 120* past center of bow.

So if you have transom LEDs other then white, they can be deemed a violation if you are on plane
If you have tower speaker LEDs other then white, they can be deemed a violation if you are at anchor.

We talked about the pontoon boats with LEDs under the deck along the toons. He said that at a distance, the boat rocking up and down would make blue or red LEDs appear to be flashing. This makes them look as if its an emergency boat. Upon approach, its just a civilian vessel with what loks to be flashing lights.

In the case of your friend, I would prepare to pay the fine, but fight it.

rdlangston13
05-27-2013, 08:29 PM
Yeah you might be right...the last sentence "No other lights that may be mistaken for those prescribed may be exhibited. "

Problem we had with it, was his lights are speaker ring LEDs. They're not outside of the boat or tower speakers. So that's why we were calling 'bulsh' on it. Reason to pull him over and jack with him.

In Texas they do not need a reason. They can pull you over because they just feel like it.


Sent from my iPhone

zabooda
05-27-2013, 09:39 PM
All you should see at night while in motion are the navigation lights and anchor lights. The worse case is when someone has the red and green switched. That is an accident waiting to happen. Green on green is the worse as it makes both boats the stand on vessel which by law requires you to maintain course and speed until a collision appears imminent at which time actions to avoid a collision is required.

Clamcakes
05-27-2013, 10:17 PM
RD you're right, at least for Texoma this weekend. They were pulling folks over left and right. They were staking out the coves and Pappys marina, whipping out the binoculars and looking at everybody coming and going.

trmaggie98
07-11-2013, 12:38 AM
my buddy got stopped on the 3rd for his underwaters on his toon. They said they were illegal, but did not give him a fine. Just checked for everything else.

tgoody14
07-11-2013, 05:45 AM
I got stopped by Game Warden on the 4th for a safety check. When I showed him everything and was cut free I asked about LEDs and he said as long as they are all IN the boat below the rub rail while moving its fine.

Edit: I was heading back to the boat ramp at about 15mph (1hr after sunset) with all my in boat Blue LEDs on and he never mentioned anything until I brought it up.

I don't have transom/underwater lights so I didn't even think to ask, but I did ask about speaker rings on the tower and he said they can not be on while moving.

bzubke1
07-11-2013, 09:58 AM
I have a friend with LEDs in his blower vents and he was pulled over for it. Last weekend we were at possum kingdom to watch fireworks, well a girl went missing and drowned in the cove at hells gate 20 minutes before fireworks were supposed to start. Well they cancelled fireworks and cleared everybody out of the cove to get the divers in the water. It was a mad house after that, hundreds of boats zipping around, we were just displaying the nav and white light but after a few boats getting too close I popped on the transom and docking lights, both of which still allow the nav light to be easily seen. My thought was ever law boat on the lake is in that cove and there's quite a few ppl driving earlier than they expected to, so might as well be well lit up and easily seen.

parrothd
07-11-2013, 04:20 PM
Police never bothered me with my old LEDs setup even with the strobing LEDs.. :) But if you're acting like a yahoo they'll use any excuse to come aboard...