LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Before the holiday weekend, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) wants you to brush up on your boating safety.
First off, anyone born since 1986 needs to take a boaters' education class. Anyone not carrying a card proving they have been though one of these courses will be ticketed, and those tickets are not cheap.
"The most important thing is what they learn, and why we have them. Take a boating safety course in the first place, they become knowledge of life jackets and knowledge of all the rules and regulations that go along with boating," said Bob Cushing with Arkansas Game and Fish. "You can be 27 years of age and have to have a boating education card now, so we've got not just children but adults who maybe started boating at 21, 22, or 23 and didn't realize the law is there, so not knowing is not a n excuse."
The commission said they are having to ticket people quite often for not taking the class.
Secondly, AGFC stressed the importance of wearing a life jacket.
"Life jackets are so important. Life jackets do save your lives. If you are 12 and younger, you have to have your life jacket on. If you are over the age of 12 you have to have it readily accessible," added Cushing. "Think about this. If you have a boating accident, and you have a collision, and you go one way, and the jacket goes the other, there is no way you have time to put that life jacket on or find it in the water."
In an effort to promote kids wearing life jackets, officers will give kids a "Sonic Citation" if they see them with their jacket on. This will entitle them to a free small ice cream cone from sonic.
Wildlife officers will also be out in force looking for drinking and driving on the water.