Save the Date! July 20, 2019. Explore the water trails at the 4th annual Pedal, Paddle, and Play in partnership with the Three Rivers Festival!

Rules of the River

Much like roads have basic rules every driver must follow, so do our waterways.  It is important to understand the “Rules of the River”, especially as our rivers are becoming more accessible and used more frequently.

While Indiana Code dictates some water traffic rules, it is also important to just be courteous of other river users.  

Indiana Code 14-15-3-14 Sec 14...

A person operating a boat shall observe the following traffic rules when applicable:

  1. When two (2) boats are approaching each other “head and head”, or nearly so, each boat shall bear to the right and pass the other boat on the boat’s left side.
  2. When two (2) boats are approaching each other obliquely or at right angles, the boat on the right has the right-of-way. However, when:
    1. one (1) boat is under sail or is nonmotorized, the sailboat or nonmotorized boat has the right-of-way;

      and
    2. two (2) boats are under sail or are nonmotorized, the boat on the right has the right-of-way.
  3. A boat operated on a river or a channel shall bear to the Right.

The State also dictates that all boaters must have a PFD on board their craft and all children 12 years old and younger must wear their PFD.