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Old 15-02-2012, 03:56   #1
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Speed Limits - Simple Question

Easy one this one I hope...

Speed limits, say 5 knots in Australia.

Is it speed through the water as in boat speed or is it acceptable to do 5 knots GPS or ground speed?


Was told off by a Parks vessel for speeding in a 5 knot zone however I said I wasn't because the tide was running opposite to which he replied that "it doesn't matter what the tide is doing."

I guess it matters to an extent what the speed limit is for, be it your wake or obstacles, proximity to vessels and safety.

Turns out he can't fine me anyway but I would like to know either way...

Thanks!
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Old 15-02-2012, 04:00   #2
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

best not to mess with little hitlers!lol
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Old 15-02-2012, 04:38   #3
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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Originally Posted by ausaviator View Post
Easy one this one I hope...

Speed limits, say 5 knots in Australia.

Is it speed through the water as in boat speed or is it acceptable to do 5 knots GPS or ground speed?


Was told off by a Parks vessel for speeding in a 5 knot zone however I said I wasn't because the tide was running opposite to which he replied that "it doesn't matter what the tide is doing."

I guess it matters to an extent what the speed limit is for, be it your wake or obstacles, proximity to vessels and safety.

Turns out he can't fine me anyway but I would like to know either way...

Thanks!
speed over ground which can be measured by a speed camera, they can not see your GPS. They can not charge you because they dont have evidence. Parks vessels dont normaly have speed cameras but some times you can have more than one authority on board a boat (MSB, Maritine police, Customs, fisheries etc, but that is more normal offshore but then there are no speed limits (subject to licencing requirements).

The question that i am asking my self is could an AIS track be used as evidence???? Could readings be acurate enough??
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Old 15-02-2012, 04:58   #4
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

My guess it's GPS only because that's what THEY have to catch you..but your defense in going faster with the current is the arguement of contollability...most "speed zones" here in the US that call for minimum wake make that allowance. I also think it's pretty much a maritime constant that controllability trumps all.
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Old 15-02-2012, 05:22   #5
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

Aus Aviator simple answer to your question is - at least in Queensland - Speed over Ground, see schedule 15 of the Transport Operations Marine Safety Regulation where speed is defined as speed over ground. There is no "Australian" Law on this matter - its all state based law. Should be the same - but might not be.

The relevant law in Qld is:

The speed limits for particular areas are contained in Sect 127A



Speed limit for ship, other than personal watercraft, operating in particular places
(1) This section applies to a ship other than a personal watercraft.
(2) A person must not operate a ship in waters at a speed of more than 6kn if the ship is within 30m of any of the following—
(a) a person in the waters;
(b) a ship at anchor, moored or made fast to the shore or aground;
(c) a jetty, wharf, boat ramp or pontoon in or on the waters.
Maximum penalty—200 penalty units.
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a ship if the ship is in waters for which a speed limit of 6kn or less has been fixed under section 206A of the Act.


Speed limits generally are contained in


Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004 Part 5 Ship operations
[s 128]
Speed limit for ship if wash can cause marine incident or shoreline damage
(1) A person must not operate a ship at a speed at which the ship’s wash is reasonably capable of causing—
(a) a marine incident; or (b) damage to the shoreline. Maximum penalty—200 penalty units.
(2) Subsection (1) applies even if a speed limit is fixed under section 206A of the Act.
Editor’s note— See section 206A(7) of the Act.


Enforcement offi9cers under the TOMSA and R are

enforcement officer means—
(a) a police officer; or
(b) an officer of the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol; or
(c) an officer of MSQ who is a shipping inspector.


also there are offences of exceeding signs in posted areas.

Interestingly enough the Regulation does not define Police officer, thus could be a copper from New York. MSQ have a reputation as the worlds worst legislative drafters, this may be another example.

As for the evidential issues, a speed camera is not necessary though would be nice, a hand held device would be good, but not necessary, they could use good old fashioned "follow speed" i.e. maintain an even distance over a period and note their speed and thus your speed. They could for example plot you and do a time and distance calc from on shore, but I doubt they would bother.

Mostly speed limit enforcement is about the Nob factor, i.e. simply picking off the dill doing stupid speed through the leads etc. On those times they would not necessarily need to resort to the simple speeding in excess of a prescribed limit but rather would probably rely on the general safety obligation or the sect 128 provisions

Hope that helps.

Oh an the post above is also correct in term,s of Qld

see reg 129
No offence if ship operated at speed necessary for safety
(1) A person does not commit an offence against section 127, 127A(1) or 128 if—
(a) a ship must be operated at a control speed that is more than the highest speed at which the ship may be operated under section 127 or 128 (the statutory speed) because it is unsafe for the ship to be operated at a speed less than the ship’s control speed; and
(b) the person operates the ship at a speed more than the statutory speed only to the extent that it is reasonably necessary for the safe operation of the ship.
(2) In this section—
control speed, of a ship, means the minimum speed at which the ship can be kept on its course in the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
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Old 15-02-2012, 05:24   #6
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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Originally Posted by justwaiting View Post
The question that i am asking my self is could an AIS track be used as evidence???? Could readings be acurate enough??

YES; AIS reports GPS data so it is as accurate as the GPS you have plugged into it. (or speed log if that's what you are sending to AIS).

If they were thrown off by following current then Speed over ground was what they were looking at, or maybe wake.

No easy answer except to avoid the area when tin pot dicatator is on the water.

The safety of your vessel comes first. In the US you always have the possibility to contest law enforcement actions in the court, (recently they have been given a lot of leeway), but if their actions are over the top, it is possible to prevail.
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:01   #7
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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YES; AIS reports GPS data so it is as accurate as the GPS you have plugged into it. (or speed log if that's what you are sending to AIS).

If they were thrown off by following current then Speed over ground was what they were looking at, or maybe wake.

No easy answer except to avoid the area when tin pot dicatator is on the water.

The safety of your vessel comes first. In the US you always have the possibility to contest law enforcement actions in the court, (recently they have been given a lot of leeway), but if their actions are over the top, it is possible to prevail.
i don't know but i would think that data sent to AIS would be speed over ground, i have never used AIS.

As Factor correctly pointed out that what they would probably do is to charge the skipper under other provisions (in NSW as well).

Under both sets of legislation the defense of exceeding speed limits etc is available where not to do so could result in a collision.


Where i would differ in opinion from Factor is regarding who is a policeman, in other legislation it is clear that a reference to a policeman is one belonging to that jurisdiction. In certain situations that may also apply to a federal police officer. The other point that i would differ on is the quality of the legislation in Queensland, which at least in some provisions is very good. If you get done DUI in a motor vehicle or vessel you lose both licenses. IMHO drunks should not be in charge of cars or boats. Personally i only have had 3 occasions where any authority (fisheries) on a waterway has been over the top, in all cases they back down because i was in the right. Thankfully the other 1000 times, lol
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:08   #8
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

Not sure about OZ, but here the term "minimum steerage" is often used. With that in mind if you are downbound in a strong tidal set and the tide is running at say 3kts, and the MINIMUM speed at which your vessel responds to the rudder is 4 kts, then you are compelled by PHYSICS to travel over the ground at 7kts! Not an issue with sail boats, but MANY power boats will not respond to rudder inputs until even faster. I would think this would be adequate defense, as the laws of physics trump those made by man.
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:13   #9
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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Not sure about OZ, but here the term "minimum steerage" is often used. With that in mind if you are downbound in a strong tidal set and the tide is running at say 3kts, and the MINIMUM speed at which your vessel responds to the rudder is 4 kts, then you are compelled by PHYSICS to travel over the ground at 7kts! Not an issue with sail boats, but MANY power boats will not respond to rudder inputs until even faster. I would think this would be adequate defense, as the laws of physics trump those made by man.
As per the last part of Factors post
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:33   #10
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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The question that i am asking my self is could an AIS track be used as evidence???? Could readings be acurate enough??
Where are they going to get the AIS data from.......??? and even if they could i doubt it would be reliable enough to convict anyone, some of he AIS readings i have seen over the years fall in to the realm of impossibility.....
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:39   #11
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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Where are they going to get the AIS data from.......???
if anyone is dumb enough to have it switched on transmit while breaking the limits, but i am not even sure that it would be acpcepted in evidence. I was just thinking out loud.
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:42   #12
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

Quote:
Originally Posted by justwaiting View Post
i don't know but i would think that data sent to AIS would be speed over ground, i have never used AIS.

As Factor correctly pointed out that what they would probably do is to charge the skipper under other provisions (in NSW as well).

Under both sets of legislation the defense of exceeding speed limits etc is available where not to do so could result in a collision.


Where i would differ in opinion from Factor is regarding who is a policeman, in other legislation it is clear that a reference to a policeman is one belonging to that jurisdiction. In certain situations that may also apply to a federal police officer. The other point that i would differ on is the quality of the legislation in Queensland, which at least in some provisions is very good. If you get done DUI in a motor vehicle or vessel you lose both licenses. IMHO drunks should not be in charge of cars or boats. Personally i only have had 3 occasions where any authority (fisheries) on a waterway has been over the top, in all cases they back down because i was in the right. Thankfully the other 1000 times, lol
GPS speed in most cases is SOG or close enough for enforcement purposes
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:47   #13
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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if anyone is dumb enough to have it switched on transmit while breaking the limits, but i am not even sure that it would be acpcepted in evidence. I was just thinking out loud.
Sorry, what i was getting at is i have yet to hear about any portable AIS tracking/recording equipment carried by the authorities, unlike the fixed stuff the harbour authorities have for monitoring shipping.....
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:58   #14
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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Sorry, what i was getting at is i have yet to hear about any portable AIS tracking/recording equipment carried by the authorities, unlike the fixed stuff the harbour authorities have for monitoring shipping.....
i don't know but would imagine that any boat (police, MSB) that could be involved in offshore S&R would be equipped with AIS
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Old 15-02-2012, 07:08   #15
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Re: Speed limits - simple question

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i don't know but would imagine that any boat (police, MSB) that could be involved in offshore S&R would be equipped with AIS
No thats not what i'm getting at, the simple AIS carried on a vessel does not record tracks or speed of another vessel, unlike the equipment harbour authoritys have which can be played back....

And the equipment on vessels is prone to giving some off the planet readings, we did 72 knots through Port Phillip Bay once according to Melbourne Port Authority, not bad for a vessel with a max of 17.....

EDIT: I should add we have numerous circulars and reports from Maritime authoritys around the world warning of spurious readings from AIS....
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