Illinois Compiled Statutes
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625 ILCS 45/4-1
(625 ILCS 45/4-1)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-1)
Personal flotation devices.
A. No person may operate a watercraft
unless at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD of the following types or
their equivalent is on board for each person: Type I, Type II or Type III.
B. No person may operate a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft
unless each person aboard is wearing a Type I, Type II, Type III or Type V
PFD approved by the United States Coast Guard.
C. No person may operate a watercraft 16 feet or more in length,
except a canoe or kayak, unless at least one Type IV U.S. Coast Guard
approved PFD or its equivalent is on board in addition to the PFD's
required in paragraph A of this Section.
D. A U.S. Coast Guard approved Type V personal flotation device may be
carried in lieu of the Type I, II, III or IV personal flotation device
required in this Section, if the Type V personal flotation device is
approved for the activity in which it is being used.
E. When assisting a person on waterskis, aquaplane or similar
device, there must be one U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD on
board the watercraft for each person being assisted or towed or worn
by the person being assisted or towed.
F. No person may operate a watercraft unless each device required by
this Section is:
1. Readily accessible;
2. In serviceable condition;
3. Of the appropriate size for the person for whom it
4. Legibly marked with the U.S. Coast Guard approval
G. Approved personal flotation devices are defined as follows:
Type I - A Type I personal flotation device is an
approved device designed to turn an unconscious person in the water from a face downward position to a vertical or slightly backward position and to have more than 20 pounds of buoyancy.
Type II - A Type II personal flotation device is an
approved device designed to turn an unconscious person in the water from a face downward position to a vertical or slightly backward position and to have at least 15 1/2 pounds of buoyancy.
Type III - A Type III personal flotation device is an
approved device designed to keep a conscious person in a vertical or slightly backward position and to have at least 15 1/2 pounds of buoyancy.
Type IV - A Type IV personal flotation device is an
approved device designed to be thrown to a person in the water and not worn. It is designed to have at least 16 1/2 pounds of buoyancy.
Type V - A Type V personal flotation device is an
approved device for restricted use and is acceptable only when used in the activity for which it is approved.
H. The provisions of subsections A through G of
this Section shall not apply to sailboards.
I. No person may operate a watercraft under 26 feet in length unless a
Type I, Type II, Type III,
or Type V personal flotation device is being properly worn by each person
the age of 13 on board the watercraft at all times in which the watercraft is
underway; however, this requirement shall not apply to persons who are below
decks or in totally enclosed cabin spaces.
The provisions of this subsection I shall not apply to a person operating a
watercraft on private property.
J. Racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks are exempt from the PFD, of any type, carriage requirements under this Section provided that the racing shell, racing scull, racing canoe, or racing kayak is participating in an event sanctioned by the Department as a PFD optional event. The Department may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
(Source: P.A. 97-801, eff. 1-1-13; 98-567, eff. 1-1-14.)