Police plan extra enforcement for holiday weekend
BULLHEAD CITY — The Bullhead City Police Department’s waterways unit will begin patrolling the Colorado River over Memorial Day weekend and would like to remind residents and visitors to be safe around water this summer.
The BCPD and the Bullhead City Fire Department, along with the city government, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center and Mohave County Parks, have kicked off the “Don’t Wreck Your Weekend” campaign to promote boating safety.
The police department responds to about 50 watercraft accidents on the river each summer, spokeswoman Emily Fromelt said.
One common infraction, she said, is violation is of the “proximity law,” which requires watercraft to remain 60 feet away from one another and from the shoreline when traveling at a speed great enough to maintain a wake.
“Our boating officers often see personal watercrafts play and splash each other,” she said, adding that operators “do not realize how easy it is to collide.”
Another common cause of accidents, Fromelt said, is when people travel on the wrong side of the river. The order of traffic on the river is the same as on the roadway: Operators should keep on the right side of the river.
Police also are urging residents and visitors to wear life vests, remain sober and stay to the right while operating watercraft.
“Remember,” Fromelt said, “boats can’t brake, and keep your distance.”
It is important for every operator, particularly anyone renting a personal watercraft, to know the vessel and the rules of the waterway, Fromelt said. Anyone renting a personal watercraft in Bullhead City is required to watch a safety video before operating the vessel.
The video can be found online at https://youtu.be/YUHPMVHKuqY or on the police department’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
In addition to the water, Fromelt said, roadways are expected to be congested.
Extra patrols will be out looking for drivers who are suspected being under the influence. The saturation DUI enforcement effort is supported by a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
City offices will be closed Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office will have extra deputies on the waterways in Lake Havasu and will be conducting extra traffic enforcement for impaired drivers throughout the county for the upcoming holiday weekend, sheriff’s spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said.